The Resource and Environmental Policy Research Centre, Environment for Development (REPRC-EfD Nigeria), has taken a step further in its work for Nigeria to develop and include Natural Capital Accounts (NCA) into its policies, plans, and programs.
The center held a training session on August 30th-31st for technical staff from ministries, agencies, academia, and the private sector. The two-day workshop called "Towards Natural Capital Accounting for Nigeria" was organized to train technical staff from relevant ministries and agencies on how to develop natural capital accounts and also present some draft accounts developed for Nigeria to the stakeholders.
Participants were trained in developing natural capital accounts, focusing on energy, ecosystem services, land use, forests, and greenhouse gas emissions.
The training, a follow-up to an earlier one in 2020, was organized in collaboration with Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Environment, with support from the World Bank.
Necessary for Nigeria
A major feature of the training was the presentation of draft pilot accounts on greenhouse gas emissions, land and forest, and energy accounts to the stakeholders.
Nigeria’s Minister for Environment, Dr. Muhammad Mahmood Abubakar said that those who participated in the training will be experts who facilitate the development of different sectoral accounts for Nigeria. He stated that the NCA project is necessary for Nigeria because the contributions of the natural capital and ecosystem services to the survival of Nigerians could no longer be ignored in the computation of national economic reports.
NCA will be mainstreamed
"If we can conduct our natural capital accounting properly and effectively mainstream it, into national policies, it will attract investors in the various sectors and equally enhance our low carbon emission climate-resilient development", he commented.
He also said that his Ministry would continue to provide the necessary support to develop and mainstream the natural capital accounts into government policy and programs.
Support from university and EfD
The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Prof Charles Igwe promised that the institution would continue to provide scientific and expert support in the Nigeria NCA project through the Resource and Environmental Policy Research Centre.
He noted that the time is ripe for Nigeria to employ the System of Environmental Economic Accounting (SEEA) to capture natural capital and ecosystem services often ignored in the computation of Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
The Director of REPRC-EfD Nigeria, Dr. Nnaemka Chukwuone added that the main objective of the NCA project was to “prepare Nigeria towards becoming a core implementing country for natural capital accounting in the Global Programme for Sustainability”. (https://www.worldbank.org/en/programs/global-program-on-sustainability)
Henry Okoduwa a participant from Covenant University said that the development of the sectoral accounts should be prioritized according to needs of the country. He would prefer that energy account be considered first because of the stake of power in the growth of other sectors.
“Nigeria has great potentials for clean and affordable energy, we need to properly account for them to solve our energy challenges”, he said while presenting reports of his group’s discussion after a breakout session.
Director, Sustainable Actions for Nature (SAN), Grace Alawa expressed concern on the availability of credible data for the accounts. She recommended a collaboration between government and research institutions, the academia, and international data agencies. “There may be need for the use of spatial data set (GIS and remote sensing), she said.
The participants agreed that more targeted trainings would be needed to fully prepare them to execute the NCA project.
Report by Inya Agha Egwu