The Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, says Africa must prioritize development of its natural resources, including fossil fuels, ahead of concerns for climate change or risk losing millions of African lives to poverty and hunger in a much faster rate than climate change.
Professor Osinbajo is attending the African Development annual meeting focused on energy and climate change in Zambia.
He said that it was impossible for Africa to de-emphasize its natural resources which must first be exploited before economic development can spread across the continent.
He said that while climate change concerns were important, Africans cannot be compelled to take the greater burden of resolving the problem at the risk of its development which is still at a nascent stage and despite being the least contributor to the devastation of the environment.
The bill for an act to provide for measures to address climate change has passed the essential second reading in the Senate.
The bill, which was sponsored by a federal lawmaker Senator Isah Misau, seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to promote the use of renewable sources of energy.
Leading the debate, Senator Misau, said that in spite of Nigeria’s participation in conferences and seminars on global warming, not much had been done to tackle the problem of greenhouse emissions, gas flaring and other harmful environmental practices.
He said that if nothing was done to stop gas flaring and other harmful environmental practices that deplete the ozone layer, the effect on Nigerians would be enormous.