There seems to be more global awareness by banking institutions in recent times towards addressing the environmental and social impacts of their services.
In Nigeria, there is a set of principles on sustainable banking which is geared towards ensuring that these financial institutions are environmentally friendly.
Bank’s financial services are used too often for activities which are harmful to the environment, human rights and social equity.
However, in whatever way we look at it, banks can be powerful agents of change.
Environmentalist, Lekan Fadina, helps to highlight the economic relevance of climate change to businesses and return of investments.
Fadina lauded the Sustainable Banking Principles as adopted by Nigerian banks in the year 2012. He noted that if properly implemented, it would address the issues of environment, economy and all that could be as a result of climate change.
Special Assistant to the CBN Governor of Sustainable Banking, Dr Aisha Mahmud, explained that there are certain global forces that are making businesses and organisations to imbibe sustainability, such as the recent financial crisis.”
She however said, “Nationally there are pressing environmental and social issues, such as poverty, youth unemployment, gender inequality, climate change, deforestation, food insecurity that made the Nigerian financial sector to come together and develop this Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles.
“Basically what it means is that, instead of focusing on profit, we now have to do a balancing act and look at environmental and social considerations as well, and this is for us to be able to achieve sustainable development.”
Earthfile presents how the financial institutions would do their business operations and activities to achieve the goals of the Sustainable Banking Principles. It starts by highlighting the environmental and social risks involved in their operations.
This edition of Earthfile looks at water and the increasing threat to it by climate change with the effects this is having on Nigeria.
The world’s surface water is affected by varying levels of precipitation, evaporation and run-off in different regions. In recent times, there is an increasing concern that it is subject to increasing climate change and variability which is compounding its capacity to meet human needs and demands.
A World Bank report estimated in the 1990s that Nigeria was losing about 5.1 billion US Dollars per annum to environmental degradation. In the face of limited mitigation measures and initiatives, climate change is among the most pressing examples of global environmental challenges being faced.
Research has also shown that Nigeria’s water sector is highly vulnerable to global warming induced climate change.
Climate Change and Environment Consultant, Professor Emmanuel Oladapo and Environmentalist, Desmond Majekodunmi were on the programme to analyse the situation and provide recommendations.
Ankko Briggs an environmentalist reacted to the gruesome murder of four University of Port Harcourt undergraduates in Aluu/Ekwere community in Port Harcourt River state saying there is no human decency anymore in the country and she is blaming the situation on government and the people as everybody is learning to mind their businesses and government on its part is turning a blind eye to the rot in the country.
The environmentalist who was a guest on Channels Television’s Breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, said the Aluu/Ekwere community must be held responsible for the gruesome murder of the four undergraduates of the University and a death penalty be passed down to the perpetrators of the act. She advocated that the security operatives manning that community be held accountable as the killing must not go unpunished.
Reacting to the recent flood that ravaged the states in Nigeria, with particular focus on the Niger Delta, the activist called for international aid to curb the flood as the Federal, State and Local governments do not have the capacity to control and phase out the floods plaguing the states.
Securing lives and property is the core responsibility of the Government of the country, she concluded.
Malachy Ugwumadu a legal practitioner has described the recent killings of students who allegedly stole laptops and smart phones in Port Harcourt as a mob action.
Mr. Malachy said the killings were controversial as it is possible that the four undergraduates were probably framed as there are different stories flying around on the murder of the four undergraduates.
“The police failed abysmally on the killings of the Aluu/Ekwere community in Port Harcourt as the situation would have been different if the police were proactive because the perpetrators had time to perpetrate their acts of killing, and as a university environment, the state government would before now situate a police post or security outfit in the environment”. He said
The legal practitioner said the police institution in that region were not proactive in curbing the heinous act of the community after the deputy commissioner of police (CID) of river state; Sam Okaula reacted to the killing via telephone interview after which the legal practitioner said in his own opinion “The commissioner is leading from behind” from his reaction as he is not accountable enough on the killings.
An Environmentalist, Idowu Salami on Wednesday recommended that the Federal Government should review the design of the variouse dams in Nigeria and identify areas where buffers can be constructed.
Mr Salami, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily said the recent flooding in Kogi state and other parts of Nigeria was a result of heavy rainfall as well as the release of water from some hydroelectricity dams.
In the video below, the environmentalist offered several other solution that can help prevent devastating floods.
The Chairman Senate Committee on Environment, Bukola Saraki on Tuesday recommended that more fund should be allocated to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to enable the agency provide succour for Nigerians affected by disasters.
Speaking against the backdrop of the recent flooding that ravaged parts of Kogi State, Mr Saraki said NEMA currently does not have the resources to cater for the over half a million persons that have been displaced by the flood.