A GREEN NIGERIA
Nigeria’s most significant opportunity is the enormous human capital embedded in it, and the opportunity it presents cannot be overemphasized. There would be no limit to what Nigeria can achieve if it put its mind to engaging all citizens as it remains the leading oil well exporter in Sub- Saharan Africa. The continued fall in oil prices, a global trend towards a zero-carbon world economy by 2050, climate change, and a pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions between 20 percent and 45 percent by 2030 under the Paris Climate Agreement have introduced Nigeria to a new dynamic it must respond to. Britannica defines greenhouse as gas that absorbs infrared radiation (net heat energy) emitted from Earth’s surface and sends it back to Earth’s surface, thus contributing to the greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor are the most important greenhouse gases. A green economy is defined as low-carbon, resource-efficient, and socially inclusive. In a green economy, growth in employment and income is driven by public and private investment into such economic activities, infrastructure, and assets that allow reduced carbon emissions and pollution, enhanced energy and resource efficiency, and prevention of the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
The world is turning to solar power and wind energy technologies. There have also been calls for green initiatives since a green economy increases resource efficiency, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and improves social equity and human wellbeing. Automakers have pledged to adopt electric cars to replace fossil fuel-consuming vehicles.
Over the decades, environmental abuse and degradation have resulted in severe climate change crises with serious economic and social impacts. Developing Countries which contributed least to the climate crisis are likely to bear the brunt more. The effect of this climate change is gradually drying up Lake Chad and herdsmen-farmer clashes because of the forced migration of herders from north to south.
Going green is a global trend that Nigeria as a country, as a matter of urgency, must invest in. A green Nigerian economy can create $250bn investment opportunities and the effect of climate change mitigated in the long run.
In achieving this green economy and becoming the investment destination for disruptive green innovation, Nigeria needs to invest more in renewable energy, waste recycling, and formulate and implement strategic policies towards sustainable growth. One way to achieve this is to bridge the wide gap between rural and urban areas of Nigeria in terms of electricity. In closing this gap, the abundance of renewable energy should be leveraged. This will give citizens access to electricity from grid sources, with 70 percent of energy derived from renewables and 30 percent from the National grid.
In reducing greenhouse gas emissions and their impact on health and quality of life, all Nigerians must be responsible for waste reduction, and there should be proper knowledge dissemination on converting waste to wealth. Strategic plans that allow the country to gradually transition to a green economy without necessarily giving up on its fossil fuel resources should be adopted. This process requires the collective efforts of both private and government sectors to drive the economy green. This can be done by providing incentives such as adopting eco-efficient processes and technologies that reduce production costs by saving resources and energy.
The Government of Nigeria has developed initiatives to drive green growth that, if properly implemented, would position Nigeria as a major powerhouse by creating green jobs for the future and further strengthening the private sector in sustaining the country’s GDP as Africa’s largest economy. In summary, all key stakeholders should act, lead and facilitate among collaborators, and every actor should be mobilized towards working for one aim; making Nigeria a green economy.
Reference  DFID (Department for International Development) (2020). Nigeria Investment Guide 2020. (Online). Available at https://nipc.gov.ng/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/NIPC-Guide_Web-Jan-2020.pdf  Federal Republic of Nigeria (c 2017). Nigeria’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution. Federal Republic of Nigeria (Online). Available at: https://www.unfccc.int/sites/NDCStaging/pages/party.aspx?party=NGA  greenhouse gas | Definition, Emissions, & Greenhouse Effect | Britannica  Green Economy | UNEP - UN Environment Programme  Volvo, Jaguar, and Bentley have announced formal plans to abandon fossil fuels, while General Motors has said it plans to become a fully electric automaker by 2035. BMW expects that at least half of its sales to be zero emission vehicles by 2030 and Volkswagen announced that more than 70percent of its Europeans sales and 50percent of it US and China markets will be of electric vehicles by 2030. Also, Stellantis, product of the merger between Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group, plans to have fully electric or hybrid versions of all its vehicles in Europe by 2025.  Okojie, J. (2019). Nigeria green economy can create $250 investment opportunity for entrepreneurs-Experts… as Home Fort Energy emerges winner of Climate Launch Pad Finals. Business Day (Online). 2 September 2019. Available at https://businessday.ng/entrepreneur/article/nigerias-green-economy-can-create-250bn-investment-opportunity-for-entrepreneurs-experts  World Bank Group (2021). Nigeria to Improve Electricity Access and Services to Citizens. (Online). World Bank. Available at http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2021/02/05/nigeria-to-improve-electricity-access-and-services-to-citizens