By Isaac Olamikan, Senior Correspondent, Benin
Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo, the Executive Director, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria(ERA/FoEN), has stated that it is time Nigeria makes a commitment to switch from petroleum to renewable energy sources, end gas flaring, reduce the rate of deforestation and the impact of climate change.
He made the statement on the occasion of a environmental education workshop for teachers from Edo, Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa States which was held in Warri, Delta State on Wednesday.
According to him, “in Nigeria the problem of environmental degradation from persistent gas flaring and frequent oil spills continue to pollute the environment,” adding “Nigeria’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 20percent unconditionally may not be realised if government fails to invest in renewable energy research and development.”
He stressed that teachers take up the task of organising and leading in discussions on environmental issues with their students as part of the environmental education in secondary schools.
Going further, he stated: “For the teachers to be effective in imparting the young ones, basic knowledge of these environmental issues is required in the teaching of renewable energy in communities and secondary schools.”
He disclosed the ERA/FoEN has trained over 200 teachers “on environmental issues and awareness raising to reach over 10,000 students so as to prepare the youths for energy revolution that is currently gathering momentum on a global scale.”
Dr. Ojo averred that “weaning Nigeria’s economy from fossil fuels dependence and embracing renewable energy is a monumental challenge and one that we cannot afford to shy away from.”