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Oborevwori endorses SERAP’s report on Niger Delta

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Delta State Governor, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, has endorsed the report of the Socio-Economic Rights And Accountability Project (SERAP) which called for a review of the Niger Delta Development plan to determine its successes, failures and areas for improvement among other recommendations.

Governor Oborevwori said the report should be adopted by the Niger Delta state governments, the Federal Government and all development partners.

Oborevwori spoke in Lagos on Wednesday in a message at an interactive session and press briefing by SERAP on promoting transparency and accountability in the use of public funds in Nigeria with focus on the Niger Delta.

Represented by his Senior Policy Adviser, Rt. Hon. Funkekeme Solomon, the governor noted that the research revealed the extensive social, economic, and environmental degeneration which to a large extent affected the lifestyle and well-being of the people of Niger Delta.

He called for the establishment of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), guidelines that are binding on oil and gas companies; enforcement of civil and criminal liability for any party that fails to fulfill its obligations or that is found complicit in corrupt practices in relation to community development projects.

According to the report, the federal and state governments in the Niger Delta lack an effective governance and feedback framework to promote integration between regulators, companies and communities.

As a result, there is deficiency in information about oil and gas companies, their activities, environmental audits and other relevant information while the mode of public participation is neither distinct nor focused on a defined structure.

Oborevwori said his administration is very conscious of the need to ensure prudence in the management of the State’s resources, bearing in mind the paucity of such resources and their inability to meet Delta’s ever growing needs.

The Governor said: “While we acknowledge the limited resources, we are also conscious of the need to ensure that what is available is efficiently deployed and used in a transparent and accountable way for the benefit of our people”.

“As a government, we shall continue to play a fundamental role in the development and rehabilitation of the host communities in oil producing areas as the state has a statutory institutional instrument – the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC).

“Governance in the Niger Delta should adopt the Principal-Agent format, whereby the citizens are the Principal and the Government is the Agent.

“Consequently, Government as an Agent to the citizens owes them (citizens) a duty of accountability of resources placed in its care. It is in recognition of this fact, that Delta State participated actively in the State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme for results (SFTAS) organized by the World Bank.”

Oborevwori said the effect of Delta’s participation in SFTAS and enlistment on “Open Governance Partnership” (OGP) is the recognition of Delta State with four awards, of which Fiscal Transparency and Accountability, as well as Efficiency of Public Expenditures were the main attractions.

“This is a testimony that we are conscious of spending public money in a more credible and efficient way. It is our intention to sustain the gains of the programme to help us build trust in government, enhance the monitoring of fiscal risks and facilitate accountability in public resource management.

“Our administration believes that stronger accountability reduces the opportunities for corruption and misuse of public resources, thereby increasing the efficiency in public expenditures. This will ultimately ensure that there is trust between the citizens and the government”.

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Pre-COP Conference reinforces Nigeria’s role as global climate leader – Tinubu’s aide

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Joel Ajayi Comrade Yussuf Kelani, the recently appointed Special Assistant to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Climate Change Matters, attended the UNFCCC SB60 Pre-COP conference.

As a former President of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) and a dedicated environmental activist, Kelani’s presence at the conference marks a significant step in Nigeria’s climate action journey.

The Pre-COP conference brought together representatives from various nations and stakeholders in climate action and environmental sustainability from around the globe.

This pivotal event was held in preparation for the UNFCCC COP29, scheduled to take place in Baku, Azerbaijan, in November 2024. The primary focus of the conference was to develop and refine the implementation framework for the global climate finance roadmap.

The year 2024 is set to be a landmark year for climate finance, with countries agreeing on a new global climate finance goal known as the New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG). This goal is expected to be a crucial marker for a successful outcome at COP29 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The NCQG aims to mobilize significant financial resources to support the climate needs and priorities of developing countries, including mitigation, adaptation, addressing loss and damage, and facilitating just transitions.

A key objective of the NCQG is to provide clarity on the public funding available for developing countries to implement their next round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and adaptation plans, which are due by February 2025. At COP28, countries agreed to submit their NDCs 9-12 months ahead of COP30, highlighting the urgency and importance of these commitments.

Our participation in the SB60 Pre-COP conference underscored Nigeria’s proactive stance in global climate negotiations. Our involvement facilitated Nigeria’s engagement with global leaders, policymakers, and climate experts, enhancing collaborative efforts and reinforcing Nigeria’s commitment to climate action.

President Tinubu’s SA on Climate Change Matters highlighted that Nigeria’s active participation in the conference has yielded several benefits, including increased access to climate finance.

The discussions at the conference focused on securing substantial financial resources for developing nations through the NCQG. For Nigeria, this translates into enhanced funding for projects aimed at mitigation, adaptation, and resilience-building. These funds are crucial for Nigeria to achieve its climate targets and transition towards a low-carbon economy.

Another significant aspect of Nigeria’s participation in the SB60 Pre-COP conference was the emphasis on technological innovation and capacity building. Engaging with international experts and stakeholders allowed Nigeria to gain insights into the latest advancements in clean energy technologies, climate-smart agriculture, and sustainable urban development. These insights are vital for driving domestic climate initiatives and ensuring that Nigeria leverages cutting-edge technologies to address its unique challenges.

The outcomes of the SB60 Pre-COP conference align closely with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s agenda for climate change and Nigeria’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Climate action is intricately linked to multiple SDGs, including those related to poverty eradication, food security, clean water, and sustainable cities. By advancing its climate agenda, Nigeria is simultaneously driving progress towards achieving these interconnected goals.

Investments in renewable energy, for instance, not only mitigate greenhouse gas emissions but also provide access to affordable and clean energy, fostering economic growth and reducing poverty. Similarly, sustainable agricultural practices enhance food security and promote responsible land use, contributing to SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) and SDG 15 (Life on Land). These integrated approaches ensure that climate action efforts also deliver socio-economic benefits, thereby promoting holistic development.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is committed to leveraging these gains to implement effective and inclusive climate policies that benefit all Nigerians. Nigeria’s active engagement in global climate forums underscores its dedication to being a leader in climate action and a champion of sustainable development.

As posted on the Facebook page of Comrade Kelani Yussuf,
Special Assistant to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Climate Change Matters

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