UN, PAGGW Target $8bn Investment In Nigeria, 5 Countries


BY CHIKA OKEKE, Abuja

The Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations in collaboration with the Pan African Agency of the Great Green Wall (PAGGW) have mapped out a 10-year investment plan in Nigeria and five other West and Central Africa Sahelian countries namely: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger and Senegal.

The project, which would be funded through the Green Climate Fund (GCF), is aimed at addressing the devastating impact of climate change in the Sahel by scaling-up successful adaptation and mitigation intervention in the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sector and would commence from 2021 to 2030.

A breakdown of the plan revealed that sustainable land management and green economy is expected to gulp $3.45 billion; climate change and socio-economic development and governance would take $1.978 billion, and $2.160 billion would be spent on resilient economic development and security.

Also, $7.3 million is expected to be expended on strengthening of scientific and technical scale; $21 million on information system, communication, marketing and advocacy, while structuring regional projects would gulp $419 million.

These were part of the deliberations at a 2-day national stakeholders’ workshop on the formulation process of Component 3 on, “Institutional Strengthening of PAGGW and GGW National Structures Through the Implementation of Climate Action initiatives and Dissemination of Successful Restoration Experiences”, for Scaling-up of Africa’s Great Green Wall (SURAGGWA), organised by the National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGW) in Abuja over the weekend.

Declaring the event opened, the permanent secretary, ministry of Environment, Mr Abel Olumuyiwa Enitan noted that the workshop is important, as it would capture governance-related issues needed for the effective implementation of the SURAGGWA project after obtaining the required resources.

He pointed out that the workshop would provide clarification on institutional capacities, challenges, needs, gaps, constraints and opportunities to enhance the implementation of GGW initiatives.

Also speaking, the director-general of NAGGW, Dr Bukar Hassan maintained that combating desertification is possible and can be done with minimal resources, adding that the PAGGW initiative was drawn from the successes of the Action Against Desertification (AAD) project in Nigeria.

He stated that climate change is one of the global issues facing the drivers of Africa as manifested in flooding, adding that though there are bureaucracies in accessing international funds like GCF, that Nigeria would surmount the challenges.

On his part, the scientific and technical director of PAGGW, Mr Zougoulou Abakar emphasised that the integration of the GGW programme into national development planning processes and climate change mitigation/adaptation should be the first guarantee of long-term financing of activities.

He harped on the need to engage the private sector in the mobilisation of resources, intensification and co-financing of mitigation and adaptation interventions in land use and forestry sectors by identifying entry points and financial support possibilities for the private sector intervention in the GGW strategy.

The project manager of AAD, Mr Thomas Fameso said in line with the implementation of GGW action plans in Nigeria, that FAO would restore 100 million hectares of degraded land, capture 250 metric tons of carbon di oxide and create 10 million jobs.

He asserted that the action plan could be linked to the European Union Green Deal (2020-2050) currently under preparation and discussion with the African Union.

 

COVID-19: Access Bank, Xploits Train 150 Abuja Residents On Skills Acquisition
BY CHIKA OKEKE, Abuja

Access bank Plc in collaboration with Xploits Consulting limited have trained about 150 Abuja residents on different skills, geared towards crippling the challenges triggered by COVID-19 pandemic.

The trainees, which cut across the three area councils in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) such as Bwari, Kwali and Kuje, were trained on multi-purpose soap making, beads making, make-up and gele-tying.

Addressing the participants in Kuje yesterday, the director of communications, Xploits Consulting, Mrs Grace Taiwo hinted that the training was to ensure that locals in various communities had additional means of livelihood, given the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.

She noted that the firm discovered that Nigerians were out-of-jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic while few unemployed person’s acquired skills that could earn them income.

Taiwo pointed out that Xploit’s plan was to train men and women that were interested in making extra income for themselves and their families.

According to her, “We want to see people use their hands to create wealth and depend less on the government. You can see that it’s not limited to women but men are also beneficiaries,” she said.

She said they extended the training to men because they are the breadwinners in most homes and many of them were affected in their workplaces during the lockdown.

One of the participants, Philip Bitrus, who lauded the efforts of the organisers, said that, “Most times, it’s only women that benefit from this kind of empowerment but today, we are saying that what women can do, men can do better’’.


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