By Musa Adamu
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has listed paucity of funds as a major challenge to addressing environmental issues in Nigeria.
He also explained that the high cost of clean energy technologies remained a major impediment to their use in the country.
He stated this when he received the Head of Climate Change and Energy, West Africa, British High Commission, Sean Melbourne, in Abuja on Wednesday.
Ekweremadu, who noted that the enormity of challenges the nation grappled with meant that the budgetary allocation for environment was perennially low. He called for international support to enable Nigeria to make substantial progress.
He, however, expressed readiness of the National Assembly to partner with the parliament and government of Britain to combat environmental challenges, including climate change.
“The commitment of the Nigerian government to addressing the myriads of environmental challenges is not in doubt. However, funding has been a major challenge. Budgetary provisions would never be enough, given the enormity of the challenges Nigeria is already grappling with in various other areas.
“There are also the issues of policy, enlightenment, national consciousness, and capacity building.
“However, environmental issues are global, hence the need for global cooperation because no country is isolated. What affects one country virtually impacts the rest of the world directly or indirectly.
Speaking earlier, Mr. Melbourne expressed the readiness of the British government to work with Nigeria to address environmental challenges.
He said that Nigeria, given her size, should be able to tap into global resources for addressing environmental challenges.