FG to develop natural capital services accounts, policy — Minister

The Federal Government on Monday expressed its commitment to ensuring that Nigeria develops natural capital services accounts and mainstream it into national policies and plans.

Dr Mohammad Abubakar, the Minister of Environment, disclosed this at a workshop on Natural Capital Accounting (NCA).

The workshop was organised by Resources and Environmental Policy Research Centre (REPRC) of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, (UNN) in collaboration with the ministry.

Natural Capital Accounting (NCA) is the process of calculating the total stocks and flows of natural resources and services in a given ecosystem or region.

The workshop was tagged: ‘Towards Natural Capital Accounting for Nigeria’.

Abubakar said that the ministry was already creating an in-house technical experts working group to facilitate the objective of NCA.

He said that the ministry would also help in mobilising other relevant ministries and agencies to ensure that Nigeria fully realised the objectives of the initiative.

“If we will be able to conduct our natural capital accounting properly and effectively, mainstream it into national policies and plans in difference sectors, it will attract investors in the various sectors.

“It will equally enhance our low carbon emission climate-resilience development.

“The ministry will continue to promote and finance investment in the natural capital accounting.

“One of such investment is the up-coming Agro-Climate Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) which emphasises the imperatives of NCA for the sustainable management of the environment,’’ he said.

The minister was represented by Dr Salisu Dahiru of the ministry.

Also, Prof. Charles Igwe, Vice Chancellor, UNN, said that the aim of the workshop was to sensitise the stakeholders to NCA and train some technical staff of key ministries and agencies.

Igwe, represented by Prof. Pat Okpoko, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration Department, UNN, said that the workshop was also to create an expert/specialised group that would facilitate the development of different accounts for Nigeria.

“For NCA to be effective there is need for the government to commit to it, especially in setting up the processes as well as making available the human resources needed.

“There is the need to ensure that different agencies work together to facilitate the development of natural capital accounts for Nigeria.

“Meanwhile, developing the account is not enough. There is also the need to identify the key issues that the accounts will inform.

“Also, the types of analysis and modeling that will use the accounting information to facilitate the formulation of evidence-based policies, mainstreaming into national plans and processes.

“Therefore, effort should be made by the government and all stakeholders to build on what has been done already,’’ he said.

Igwe, however, thanked World Bank for supporting the programme and appreciated the ministry for collaborating with the university.

Dr Nnaemeka Chukwuone, Director, REPRC said that the centre was established to advance interdisciplinary research, capacity building and policy advocacy on different dimensions of environmental and resources economics. (NAN)

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