The Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, has said that continued exclusion of natural capital in Nigeria’s system of national accounting would hamper the country’s effort to attain sustainable development.
Ikeazor made this submission during a two-day capacity building workshop/training organised for participants drawn from Nigeria’s ministries of environment, finance, budget and planning, statistics and the academia.
The minister, who spoke through her Special Adviser, Dr Pricillia Achakpa, said that although the Federal Ministry of Environment had made some efforts in providing some data required for natural capital accounting through the implementation of some aspects of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, a lot remained to be done.
“My ministry will be happy to support the implementation of a roadmap for advancing natural capital and ecosystem services accounting in Nigeria and its mainstreaming into national policy and plans,” Ikeazor said while commending EfD Nigeria for taking the initiative.
On his part, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Professor Charles Igwe, commended the Resource and Environmental Policy Research Centre and its partners for promoting policy that would evaluate the impact of economic development on natural resources and environmental sustainability.
He, however, expressed regret that Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa, was yet to appreciate the true value of its natural capital.
Professor Emmanuel Oladipo, the Chairman, REPRC-EfD Nigeria Policy Advisory Panel, identified mismanagement of natural resources as one of the reasons humans were exposed to contacts with disease-carrying animals which had caused outbreaks contagious diseases such as Ebola and Lassa fever.