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Waziri Adio: Climate change is most existential threat facing Nigeria

Waziri Adio: Climate change is most existential threat facing Nigeria
November 22
18:50 2023

Waziri Adio, executive director of Agora Policy, says the climate change issue does not enjoy the prominence it deserves in Nigeria.

Adio spoke on Wednesday in Abuja during the launch of Agora Policy’s 84-page report titled “Climate Change and Socio-Economic Development in Nigeria”.

Adio said aside from climate change not being ranked high in Nigeria’s policy agenda, “government officials also see it as other people’s problems”.

“Climate change does not enjoy the prominence that it deserves in Nigeria.  But the sad, inconvenient truth is that climate change still does not rank very high on our policy agenda and in our popular imagination,” Adio said. 

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“Both in official circles and among the populace, climate issues are not considered important and urgent. Our national attitude oscillates between denial and indifference. 

“Most of our people, including highly-placed government officials, see climate change as other people’s problems or an issue that is only for tree-huggers and environmentalists, or something that should bother only those who have the luxury of not wrestling with hunger and other existential matters—as we say in Pidgin, ‘somtin for pipu wey don belleful.’ Or because we are a people of fantastic faith, we simply think and believe that the negative impacts of climate change will never be our portion.”

He said climate change is the most existential threat Nigeria is facing at the moment.

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He added that “the rise in temperature, the irregular raining patterns, the near perennial flooding across the country, the increasing threats of desertification and gully erosion” are the obvious burdens of shifts in climatic conditions hanging on the citizenry. 

“Whether we want to accept it or not, whether we think it is other people’s or our own headache or not, whether we think it is our portion or not—climate change is already exerting a big toll on the things we consider critical and urgent,” he said.

“It is already here and now, not a matter of hereafter. It is not what we can simply wish away by faith. 

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“And because of its multi-dimensional, ramifying nature and multiplier effects, climate change is the most existential threat we face already.

“And it is projected to get significantly worse within a few years. This silent crisis of today is likely to escalate into a catastrophic one soon—unless we act urgently, intentionally, and boldly.”



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