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Nigeria Faces $100 Billion Loss, Risks Further $460 Billion Due To Climate Change — Report

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Nigeria Faces $100 Billion Loss, Risks Further $460 Billion Due To Climate Change — Report

The new Agora Policy report has revealed that Nigeria may lose $460 billion due to climate change by 2050 if urgent actions are not taken to curb its adverse effects.

The report, titled ‘Climate Change and Socio-Economic Development in Nigeria,’ also revealed that the country has already incurred losses of $100 billion due to climate change as of 2020.

The MacArthur Foundation-supported report was unveiled during a one-day policy discussion titled ‘Nigeria, Climate Change, and the Green Economy‘ in Abuja, a prelude to COP28.

Highlighting potential exacerbations of climate change effects in Nigeria, the report underscores the challenges to the country’s development.

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It identifies opportunities for Nigeria, suggesting avenues for rapid economic growth, energy source diversification, job creation for the growing youth population, and addressing poverty through a fair energy transition.

Prof Chukwumerije Okereke, the Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Development, presented key findings, revealing flood risks to 25 million Nigerians and 630 km² of land in the Niger Delta, with Lagos facing exposure to flooding affecting 357,000 people, projected to rise to 3.2 million by 2050.

The estimated direct damage from flooding in 2022 is N1.48tn, while total damage, including indirect losses, reaches approximately N2.6tn. Prof Okereke recommends strengthened national climate policies, enhanced institutional capacity, sufficient climate funding, equitable energy transitions, public awareness, collaboration, and targeted sectoral interventions.

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In his opening remarks, Waziri Adio, the Founder of Agora Policy, acknowledges existing climate initiatives but emphasises the insufficient attention given to climate change by individuals, organisations, and government agencies in the country.

“Both in official circles and among the populace, climate issues are not seen as really important and urgent. Our national attitude oscillates between denial and indifference.

“Most of our people, including highly-placed government officials, see climate change as other people’s problems or an issue that is only for tree-huggers and environmentalists, or something that should bother only those who have the luxury of not wrestling with hunger and other existential matters,” Adio said.

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He noted that the escalating threats of desertification, gully erosion, and other factors already exert severe negative impacts on various aspects such as food production, food security, inflation, water resources, health, productivity, energy, infrastructure, and contribute to escalating conflicts, partly due to diminishing natural resources.

Emphasising the urgency of the situation, he recommended immediate action to prevent the escalation of climate change effects into a catastrophic scenario.

The Director of Programmes at CJID, Akintunde Babatunde, added that Nigeria’s climate change challenges are diverse, underscoring the imperative to implement comprehensive climate change policies actively.

“We do not lack policies on climate change in Nigeria; we have climate change law, the National Council on Climate Change, the Department of Climate Change at the Ministry of Environment, among others, but our problem is about proper action tailored to address the issues.

“How much can we use to build proper drainages so that it can prevent flooding? How much can we properly use for early warning systems to help with preparations? We need effective implementation of policies and judicious use of financial investment, both by the government and partners, and we need massive awareness by the media,” Babatunde said.