FG SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH US GOVERNMENT

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In spite of the rise in inflation in the US, the Biden administration is offering to give the Nigerian Government the opportunity to be a beneficiary of the $12 billion Emergency Programme for Adaptation and Resilience that it has provided, on the condition that the Federal Government will work with the Biden Administration to develop a programme that will combat carbon emission and favour the adoption of gas as the sole means of energy.

A bothering question on the minds of the citizens of Nigeria is: “how does this solve the challenge of the rising inflation in both countries? How does carbon emission which get so much attention that the planting of trees no longer seem a viable option for solution and why does the new solution require so much money when there are more pressing issues that require far less amount of money for intervention? Another question is if the US Govt. has so much money in grant, What is the reason for the cry of inflation in the country?

In the face of the over 6 month long ASUU strike, a strike that has kept several Nigerian students at  home with no certainty of the direction in which their studies are going, the Buhari led administration, represented by the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva in a meeting with the US special envoy on Climate Change, Senator John Kerry on Thursday in Abuja bowed to the pressure from the Methane Pledge and signed an agreement with the US Government to develop a Federal Government Programme in the push to ‘reduce carbon emission’ even though the country is not in anyway, a major carbon emitter.

The Minister admitted that the country, along with some other sub-sahara countries contribute less than 1% of the total global carbon emission; however, the rest of the global community is forcing the nation to join the Climate Change train and establish specific technology to aid energy transition which she does not require. He said: “We are not denying that climate change is real. We accept the problem of climate change and we would also like to be in the energy transition train but we have certain realities that the world must take into account. Our reality is that we have a huge number of people without access to electricity and we don’t have funding and the technology to be able to achieve this transition the way the rest of the global community would like us to do. And if we come together and collaborate we probably might be able to create that synergy and funding and the basis for us to move at the same pace.”

Although laying emphasis on the fact that Nigeria is not a major Carbon emitter, the Minister said the Federal Government has entered into the agreement regardless, hinting that this happened because the FG wants to satisfy global bodies like the Methane Pledge which Senator John Kerry referred to in his speech. He said: “In addition, we specifically agreed to a programme of technical assistance which we will provide in order to further the hydrocarbon sector, methane abatement and decarbonisation programme, which we’re going to work on together. And this initiative is going to be supported by the Department of State, Energy and Mineral Governance programme in order to align with Nigeria’s participation in the global methane pledge. So we really look forward to some progress here and I hope we’re going to come up with some strong mutually agreed upon initiatives as we go to Sharm el Sheikh.”

Another point of suspicion raised by the people, still referencing another submission of the former US Secretary of State, is him admitting that 80% of all the emissions in the world come from 20 countries, and Nigeria and 47 other Sub-saharan African states are responsible for just 0.55% of all global emission. Which brings back the same question: “what then is the need for this intervention, why would Nigeria be a participant in The Global Methane Pledge? Why will the US government choose to work with the country on a project that has no significant impact in her economy when there are more pressing issues like education, insecurity, and health care which require urgent intervention? Those and many more are the questions that are yet to be answered.
Worthy of mention is the subtle threat from the special envoy; while admitting that Nigeria is not a major carbon emitter, the Senator said: “At the same time, let me be clear, we’re all in this together. Nobody entered the Industrial Revolution suggesting that the outcome was going to be the climate crisis.” That suggests that the intervention was more of an imposition; an offer that the Federal Government was not expected to decline.

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