By Bamidele F. Oni
Despite the slow pace signature of global yielding and actualization with respect to climate and ecological related interventions, the echoes of awareness raised overtime has in a lot ways recorded a level tangible impact in today’s world.
In some way, the perception that obtains in the global dealings may have assumed an unrepentant record of discouraging outlooks but largely, if given a detailed and unbiased study, it will be well noted of the significant impact and range of reach with which every form of information and awareness has spread as regards the problems, causes and the possible means to solving the global issues that plague today’s world.
The zero emission future envisioning has remained on the frontline of climate activism and a top priority on the listing of adjustable means to a clean future. To making this a reality, fossil fuel has been tagged with a label of total let-go such that every form of subsequent energy generation and utilization is free of dangerous greenhouse gas emission. The proclamation to rid the world of its dependence on fossil fuel has taken the order of the day globally and well assumed as a potential solution to sustenance of normal eco-human system of dependence.
Some countries have begun adopting alternative forms of energy production with a view to investing and engaging in innovative transformation that would ease up on their economical backrest on fossil related energy sources. Solar power, wind power systems are gradually taking over the landscape of energy generation across the world and it looks of a certainty that the days of fossil energy are quite numbered.
However, while the energy substitution race has been swift for some countries and which has made such pioneers and leaders in the regards of alternative power generation, some countries have not been doing so well especially with regard to adaptation and wide acknowledgment for such major shift towards the future of humanity.
The spotlight of my thoughts in this regard beams largely on Nigeria, an economic giant in Africa whose largest revenue generation comes from her dependence on fossil fuel exploration. The country however, before the discovery of crude oil was quite a country to be reckoned with in Africa and even in the world as an emerging economy with potentials of being among the world leading economies.
The period prior to the oil boom was typically an agrarian economy era with revenue proceeds coming from the cocoa produce in the west, the booming oil palms of the east and the well famous groundnut pyramids of the north and so much of accolades to show for that period of time, the establishment of the first television station in Africa and quite a number of other ground breaking achievements setting the nation as paramount in Africa. Then, much attention was in the regards of land maintenance to supporting sustainable agricultural practices. The period was indeed the golden era of Nigeria with the strongest economic backbone coming out of Africa.
Suddenly, oil was discovered and scramble began, the oil market was good and gradually crude oil exploration took precedence as the sole revenue generating avenue for the nation and this has allowed for a narrowed economy to the extent that alternative deviation has assumed a significant level of impossibility as observed in past attempts.
Now that the whole world is gradually turning towards the acceptance of clean energy forms and a shift of focus from fossil energy, one would wonder what countries like Nigeria would fall back on or rather the premise of their relative actions. As the overall shift is quite imminent, Nigeria would have no other option other than to join the trend in the common evolution of humanity past the era of fossil fuel.
Again, the question is, is Nigeria really ready or preparing for this major shift?
Despite the fact that the country has always assumed a position of wanting to be part of global trends, there are quite a lot of loop holes on the path to evolving with the rest of the world in putting an end to the use of fossil fuel. Still, while there have been quite a number of bills to put an end to gas flaring, the burning still forms an array of sights in the Niger delta region of the country and the country is yet to diversify her economy.
The recent crash in the international oil market had a lot of negative impact on the country as the period was quite a trying one socio-economical wise.
Perharps a move for change for the country would start with a gradual shift of focus from crude oil exploration to other possible, dependable and sustainable means for national revenue generation in order for a sound economic rejuvenation and environmental sustenance and if this approach is well guided, perharps most moribund policy drafting and passed bills on environmental interventions, climate change adaptation and mitigation would eventually come to the limelight of actualization and manifestation.
Nigeria has so much to gain from joining the rest of the world in the race towards developing on alternative energy solutions especially with the vast resources available for the adoption of such.
In closing i realize the fact that in the context of accepting changes, unlimited possibilities abound, a global clean future is achievable.
Oni, the Executive Director of Green Impact International, writes from Abeokuta, Nigeria