By Mathew Dadiya
Niger State government, Wednesday disclosed that it has concluded arrangement to host its first subnational Green Economy Summit in October 2023 where about five hundred foreign investors will participate.
The summit is in alignment with Nigeria’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions and transition to a low-carbon economy in line with the Climate Change target.
Addressing a World Press Conference at the Niger State Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro, Abuja, governor Muhammad Bago, said the target is to generate more revenue to develop the state.
The governor explained that the theme of this summit shall be “Sustainable Future: Harnessing Green Assets and Innovation for Niger State’s Prosperity”.
Bago said, “expecting about 500 participants from a broad spectrum of backgrounds to discuss and help proffer solutions to issues of Decarbonizing Energy Systems, Circular Economy, Waste Management, Green Agriculture, Food Security, Eco-Tourism and Community Development.
The summit will also discussed issues like Conserving Biodiversity for Sustainable Development, Innovative Solutions for Water Management, Smart Cities, Sustainable Urbanization, Women and Youth Engagement.
Bago said that the Summit will attract experts and participants from around the world to exchange ideas, best practices, and innovations on green economy initiatives for them to learn and adapt in their context.
According to him, Niger state government is hosting the 1st-ever subnational Green Economy Summit in response to the global challenges of environmental degradation, climate change impacts, insecurity and the growing need for sustainable solutions, where we will be unveiling the Niger State Green Economy Blueprint to guide our developmental choice of actions.”
The Summit, he said, will help in meeting Nigeria’s pledge under the Paris Agreement, the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Governor Bago emphasized the role of local communities and their indigenous knowledge systems in sustainable development while empowering them with the necessary knowledge and resources to engage in eco-friendly practices and green initiatives, to achieve the UN SDGs.
The North Central governor explained that, through panel discussions and presentations, the summit shall increase public awareness and knowledge about green technologies, sustainable practices, and environmental issues.
“This encapsulates our central vision and purpose of the Niger State Green Economy initiative. It communicates the state’s commitment to the sustainable development of its valuable natural resources (green assets), and the use of innovative practices in driving economic growth and prosperity.
“The target is to unlock the states’ green economy potential to achieve prosperity for all its residents.
“By adopting this theme, the Niger State Green Economy Summit aims to inspire collaboration, knowledge sharing, and concrete actions that will lead to a greener, more sustainable, and prosperous future for the state and its people,” the governor said.
“The event will have Keynote Speakers, lead speakers, panelists, presenters, and other contributors which include the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Honourable Ministers, heads of Agencies, State Governors, representatives of multilateral and bilateral international organizations, development partners and development finance institutions, captains of industry, local and international experts on the theme and sub-themes, members of the academia, community leaders, youth and women group representatives, civil society organizations, amongst others.”
The governor also hinted that the Summit will be a two-day “hybrid” event on the 24th and 25th of October 2023, to be held in Minna, the Niger State capital.
It will coincide with the United Nations Day as well as the climate advocacy group, 350.org’s, International Day (of advocacy) for Climate Action, on the 24th of October each year.
He noted that the choice of the date is to underscore the resolve to partake in achieving collective global goals through responsible local action, as Nigeria prepares to participate in the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP 28) in Dubai, UAE, between Nov. 30th and Dec.12th,2023.
The governor further explained that the benefits of the summit will be the protection of the environment from flood disaster as the issue of climate change will be addressed.
Asked if the security issue will not pose a challenge to the summit, the governor said that security would not be an issue as it has been curtailed.
“As a state, we have and we are still investing in security and heavy security equipment. Don’t worry about security. Security wouldn’t be an issue but I can assure you Niger is safe,” the governor said