By Michael Peter, The Sight News
Abuja-A Civil Society Organization, Center for Social Justice, (CSJ) has called for the replacement of the current Minister of Power, Babatunde Fashola saying that he is overwhelmed by the challenges in the sector and is incompetent to function in that capacity.
The Lead Director of the Center, Eze Onyekpere who said this while addressing newsmen in Abuja on its recommendations for a 2018 Low Carbon Budgeting Framework in Agriculture, Power and Transport,noted also that Nigeria lacks the discipline and capacity to operate Nuclear Power plant safely and called on the Federal Government to stop its budgetary investments in that regards.
The group wondered why the Federal Government would be venturing into such a project, when super powers like Germany are shutting down their nuclear power plants.
It however called on the government to look into investing in organic fertilizers and the promotion of organic agriculture, strengthen renewable energy initiatives like the Sovereign Green Bond(SGB), and urged the CBN and the Bank of Industry to set up similar initiatives with single digit interest rates to ramp up sustainable energy generation in the country.
Onyekpere also proposed that 5 percent of the total budget for 2018 be allocated to agriculture which he said amounts to just 50 per cent of Nigeria’s commitment under the Maputo Declaration.
He also suggested that the bulk of the proposed budget for agriculture be invested into capital expenditure, saying that focus must be placed in renewable energy utilization in the sector.
He said; “We urge government to look at massive tree planting and afforestation with targets and locations for desert, erosion and flood control and for promotion of carbon sinks.We also call for public private partnership for reduction of post harvest losses, to develop cold hubs for fruits, vegetables and tubers and small scale processing plants”.
On achieving a climate friendly transport system in the country, Onyepkere called for the implementation of fiscal incentives such as fuel and vehicle taxes to discourage the growth of private motorized traffic to reduce carbon emissions.
He noted that other ways to reduce Green House Gas emission are to improve public transport connections from satellite towns to city centers, reinforce roads and other transport infrastructure that take cognisance of climate change as well as improving overall vehicle efficiency through higher fuel efficiency standards, labelling and testing.
Onyekwere further tasked the government to continue to enforce the ban on importation of vehicles over 15 years old or lower the age to not more than 10 years.