Leadership (Abuja)

13 November 2012

Nigeria: Global Warming, Deforestation Most Potent Threat to Environmental Preservation

Hajia Fati Abubakar, a former First Lady, says global warming and deforestation constitute the most potent threat to the effort at preserving the global environment.

Abubakar said this in her address of welcome at the LPG multi-stakeholders meeting organised by Access Africa Initiative, an NGO, in collaboration with Oando Petroleum Plc on Tuesday in Abuja.

Abubakar, who was chairman of the occasion, observed that Nigeria had the highest deforestation rate of primary forest due to indiscriminate use of firewood as the source of cooking energy.

She said that the practice which is most common in the rural areas due to the lack of access modern sources of energy, posed a serious challenge to food production.

She urged Nigerians to change from using kerosene cooking stove to Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) to mitigate the impact of climate change.

He commended the organisers for the initiative, and advised Nigerians to embrace it.

Abubakar said that the new initiative was capable of combating some global environmental challenges.

"This initiative is capable of combating global warming, poverty, deforestation and ensuring the empowerment of women.

"We are on the right track to finding a solution to the reality of environmental degradation and its consequences in Nigerian economy and the well-being of the citizenry."

Also speaking, a former Minister of Information, Mr John Odey, said that Africa and Nigeria, in particular, were endowed with many natural resources that could sustain the continent.

"Africa as a whole and Nigeria in particular, is endowed with many natural resources and fossil resources as well, yet Africa's infrastructure is the most deficient in the developing world."

He decried the level of poverty, lack of information and knowledge that had denied people access to cleaner cooking fuel.

"Statistics have shown that about 112 million people in Nigeria are still cooking with kerosene, firewood and charcoal, and 90 per cent of this number is made up of rural people," he said.

In his remark, NLC President Abdulwaheed Omar commended Oando and Access Africa Initiative (AAI) for their concern for the citizens of Nigeria.

He urged the government to subsidise the cost of a cylinder of gas to make it affordable.

He assured Nigerians that the NLC would collaborate with the government to ensure that the price was affordable and the products accessible to the people.

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