The Minister of State for the Federal Ministry of Environment (FME), Dr. Iziaq Salako announced that Nigeria is among the top 10 countries in the world actively addressing the impact of climate change.
He made this revelation during a press briefing held at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja, where he emphasised the critical connection between climate change and human health.
Salako underscored that while the government’s actions are essential, effective change requires the active engagement of the people. He emphasised the need for continuous interaction between the government and the public to foster idea exchange, enhance awareness and ensure mutual understanding of government initiatives.
He expressed his full support and partnership with Oxfam and the African Activists for Climate Justice, recognising their advocacy efforts in climate justice, policies, actions, mobilisation and awareness. Salako stressed the importance of these angles in conveying messages to the people and achieving meaningful climate actions.
Regarding the Climate Change Act, Salako revealed that it has been passed and highlighted the need for its effective implementation. He emphasised that passing the act is just the first step, and the focus should now be on achieving its intended objectives.
Salako also addressed the recent lift of the ban on charcoal, clarifying that the decision was made to address economic concerns while ensuring responsible and regulated use. He highlighted the importance of regulating activities rather than imposing total bans to maintain a sustainable balance between economics and climate actions.
The minister extended his appreciation to the government of the Netherlands for its support of African activists for climate change and their initiatives in Nigeria. He assured continued collaboration and partnership between the Federal Ministry of Environment and the government of Nigeria with these organisations.
The Climate Justice Project coordinator (AACJ project lead, Nigeria) at Oxfam in Nigeria, Mr. Kenneth Akpan discussed the Africa Activist for Climate Justice (AACJ) project’s objectives. The project’s primary goal is to amplify Africa’s voice in global climate change discussions, addressing the imbalance in the contribution and impact of African nations.
Akpan emphasised the need for Africa to have a more significant role at the table during climate change decisions and negotiations. He noted that Africa has been disproportionately affected by climate change, contributing only 3 per cent to global emissions, and stressed the importance of amplifying African voices and solutions to climate crises.
In Nigeria, the AACJ project has been active since 2021 and its third year is focused on implementing the Climate Bill Act and educating communities about climate change. Akpan highlighted the importance of community-level engagement and awareness, emphasising that the government cannot achieve climate commitments without the involvement of every citizen.
He suggested that the Federal Ministry of Environment should take the lead in organising an annual climate change carnival involving youths, women, children and the entertainment industry to discuss climate change. Additionally, he emphasised the importance of building capacity and engaging legislators to support FME and the Nigerian government in achieving climate change goals.
In his remarks, Head of the programme management unit for the Global African Activists for Climate Change, Mr. Benson Simba emphasised the necessity of focusing on climate change adaptation in Africa. AACJ seeks to partner with the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Nigerian government to address climate change issues effectively.
Salako’s remarks underscore the importance of proactive climate action in Nigeria and the critical role of government engagement with the public. The AACJ project’s objectives emphasise the need for Africa to have a stronger voice in global climate discussions and to implement climate policies effectively at the community level. Finally, Mr. Benson Simba highlighted the need for a greater focus on climate change adaptation in Africa.