In an effort to harness the abundant opportunities in the green economy, the Niger State government has developed a workable blueprint for safeguarding the environment and tapping into nature's resources for a prosperous future.
Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago disclosed this Tuesday at the opening of the first of its kind Green Economy Summit, which is being held at the Idris Legbo Kutigi International Conference Centre, Minna.
The two-day event has brought together stakeholders, experts, partners, and top government functionaries both at the national and subnational level, including President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Mrs. Amina Jane Mohammed.
The governor said the blueprint spans across vital sectors, encompassing renewable energy, transportation, infrastructure, agriculture, inclusivity, and tourism, among others, adding that collective action is needed by the government, private sector, and civil society to achieve the desired objectives.
He explained that the state was blessed with enormous natural resources that were under the threat of the devastating effects of climate change and environmental degradation, which he said the summit was meant to find ways of addressing.
"We firmly believe that local communities are not just beneficiaries; they are the architects of change in the transition towards a green economy. We aim to equip them with the necessary skills and resources to partake in eco-friendly ventures and reap the benefits of green initiatives".
The governor used the forum to reiterate the commitment of his administration to creating opportunities where its citizens will enjoy access to fundamental social amenities and infrastructure that enhance the quality of life.
Meanwhile, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who was the Special Guest of Honour, said his administration was committed to harnessing the potential of the green economy.
He revealed that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had recently approved a solid mineral development policy that would align with the objectives of the green economy.
The president, represented by the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abdullahi Sabi, said the new policy will remove all forms of illegalities that are destroying the environment and bring about the principle of efficient resource use, among others, which he said will be of great benefit to the state.
In her virtual keynote address, the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed, described the summit as a reflection point to squarely address the global challenge of climate change, bearing in mind the huge natural resources endowed in Africa.
She commended the Niger State Governor for his foresight in organising the summit, saying the state was uniquely positioned to be the first to engage in green growth and, by extension, a leader in energy investment.
She advocated leadership, partnership, and commitment to helping in the identification of integrated solutions and responding to complex issues.
The Deputy Secretary-General said the days of oil-driven economic growth were numbered and lamented the global progress on meeting the climate emergency. She advocated the need to end addiction to fossil fuels, urging governments at all levels to expand access to reliable and affordable energy for everyone.
In their separate goodwill messages, the former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, and the former Governor of Niger State, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, acknowledged the timeliness of the summit, saying the green economy was the way to go as desertification has negatively impacted the environment, especially in the northern region.
The first Niger State Green Economy Summit has the theme, "Sustainable Future: Harnessing Green Assets and Innovation for Niger State's Prosperity.
The election of Hon. Mohammed Isah Etsugaie of the All Progressives Congress (APC), representing Agaie constituency in the state house of assembly, has been upheld by the National and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Minna (EPT).
Abdullahi Yahaya of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has filed a petition against the election of the second respondent on the allegations of alterations of votes at the March 18, 2023 election.
The petitoner had approached the tribunal requesting the cancellation of the election of the second respondent on the ground that the election was marred with irregularities, ranging from over-voting to alterations and allocations of votes.
According to the petitioner, the election of the second respondent was characterised by so many irregularities that he requested the tribunal to cancel the election and order the conduct of a fresh election in some of the polling units.
Evaluating the evidence and witnesses as well as the exhibits tendered before the tribunal, Justice Angela Otaluka averred that the petitoner failed to prove and substantiate his allegations of over-voting and allocations of votes as claimed.
She further posited that the petitoner has failed to prove that the second respondent was not elected by the majority of votes cast at the polling units, as claimed in his petition.
Justice Angela Otaluka equally maintained that all the witnesses and evidence presented by the petitoner were so contradictory as to lack merit.
Speaking with journalists shortly after the judgement, the counsel for the respondent, Barr Mohammed Abdulkadir Waziri, described the judgement as not only a victory for his client but a victory for democracy.
He commended the judges for their eloquent and well-researched judgement and appreciated the courageous position of the jurists.