Thursday, December 20, 2007

Nigeria risks loss of $10 billion from sea level rise, via Leadership (Abuja): Nigeria risks losing over US$10 billion from its oil installations concentrated along the coastal zones which harbors most of the country's economic activities. This is as a result of the projected accelerated sea level rise of about 0.5 meters that is predicted to cause many low lying coastline areas to be inundated with flood and storm surge.

The implication of this is that, up to 35 per cent of the Niger Delta region of the country could be lost as an accelerated sea level rise of 1.0 meter would mean that up to 75 per cent of the Niger Delta could go underwater. Also, a total of 32 million people, which sums up to over 22.6 per cent of Nigerians population of over 140 million who live along the coastal zones are at risk of becoming environmental refugees.

Such forced movements could result in social friction, attendant human calamities and irreparable damage to Nigerian 's oil installations at the coastal zones, said the minister for national planning commission, Senator Sanusi Daggash.

The minister making this known at an international conference on climate change, in his paper on 'global climate change: developing world perspective' in the United States said climate change is known to affect offshore and onshore areas, estuaries and lagoons, artisinal and industrial fisheries which amount to more than 75 per cent of fishery landings in the country as there will be fish and food shortage and job losses.

In the area of health, climate change is identified as one of the fundamental causes of the poor state of human health in the tropical region such as malaria, filariasis and yellow fever, while cerebro spinal meningitis, measles and small pox are prevalent in the arid zones of the continent.

According to him, in the area of industrial acceleration, climate change spells disaster as insufficient rainfall and low ground water recharge rate especially lower volume of water in the rivers and dams would impair hydroelectricity generation. "This source of water accounts for about 36 per cent of Nigeria's electricity energy source. Inadequacy of such supply of power has caused the closure of many industries which led to job loss and has also increased the cost of doing business in the country…

Senator Daggash explained further that Nigeria as an oil producing country and party to the climate change convention and protocol, has adopted a policy of economic diversification which will save the Nigerian economy from hazards of a mono economy, saying that energy and food security that are climate dependent are on the priority list of the Nigerian government's seven point agenda.

"Any change in climate conditions would affect the implementation of these two as well as limit the achievement of the millennium development goals (MDGs) on environmental protection and poverty reduction, as the country has also adopted and embarked on policies geared towards the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as part of its mitigation measures", he stated….

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