Education Climate change: Don reveals dangers ahead for Nigeria By RoIImlLawrenca Oyakanml
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A horrific scenario, likely to .l1engulf Nigeria, as a direct consequence of changes in climatIc conditions over the next 10 years, has been unveiled by Temi Ologunorisa, a Professor of Climatology. Delivering the first inaugural lecture of the Osun State University with the theme: In
Se;m:h ofCllmate Justice and
Equity before an impressive crowd in Oshogbo recently, Ologunorisa affirmed that the impending climate change would have a strong impact on Nigeria in the areas of agriculture,land use, energy, tiiodiversity, health and water resources. And unless the federal government begins, from now, to put decisive, adequate measures in place to deal with the looming dangers, the price for negligence, he noted, will be very high. To be sure, Ologunorisa declared: "it is clear that Nigeria's long term development priority of vision 2020, poverty reduction, the Millennium Development Goals and Seven Point Agenda will be severely constrained, if sufficient attention is not paid to the current and future impact of climate change in Nigeria." listing the looming dangers and quoting from international studies, the don observed that due to the country's high vulnerability, resulting from its BoOkm coastline, it faces the risk of a sea-level rise and fierce storm. Another danger, according to him, is that two thirds of the country's land mass will be prone to desertification, with serious conse-. quences for agriculture. Besides, he warned that Nigeria's water resourceS would equally be under threat, with imminent implications for both Kainji and Shiroro dams. Ologunorisa further revealed tliat the rain-fed ajpiculture and fishing activities, on which an estimated 65 per cent of the country's population depends, will also be threatened. His words: "studies have shown that a sea-level rise of just 02 metres, as a result of climate change could flood over
3,400km s'luare of the country's coast and. Nigeria may lose close to N9 billion as a result, while at least, 80 !ler cent of the inhabitants of the Niger Delta will be displaced." He continued: "Climate change is predicted to worsen the inCIdence of drought and desertification and millions will be turned to refugees because of disaster. States such as Bornu, Sokoto, Jigawa, Zamfara, Kebbi, Yobe, Kaduna,Kano, Bauchi, Adamawa and Niger are at risk. Over 80 per cent of farmers who engage in agriculture, which is rain-fed, will be affected. Our agricultural production system will be adversely affected by the variability in timing and amount of rainfall, frequent outbreaks of crop pests and diseases and heat stress. Food shortages will increase and many farmers could lose their sources of livelihood due to climate change." But the don is also worried about two other thin~s: "Nigeria lacks the financIal capacity and technological know-how to combat the postulated negative impacts of climate change," he averred, adding, "Nigeria does not yet have a fully established institutional and legal framework, nor systematic approaches and policies tar~eted at combating, mitigatmg and adapting to the impacts of climatic change." He admitted that Nigeria had taken the challen~es of climate change serIously with the first national communication on the issue produced in 2003, and another summit held in 2006. Besides, he acknowledged that a Special Climate Change Unit was created within the Federal Ministry of Environment to implement convention and protocol activities, beSides the Presidential Implementation Committee on the Clean Development Mechanism domiciled in the Presidency. But, he regretted that a clear policy was still missing. He said: "The country is yet to prepare a National Adaptation Programmes of Action which would have easily identified urgent priorities and needs that would enhance adaptive capacity to
climate change and variability. There is also the absence of a National ;Climate Change Policy or Strategy that should have presented Nigeria's current and future efforts to address climate change vulnerability and adaptation, as well as the country's competency building efforts and participation in international dimate chanlle discussions and negotiations. At the national level, specific funding of climate change is still very limited to supporting the Special Climate Change Unit oT the Federal Ministry of Environment, with no specific budget for initiatives that could strengthen the country's !lreparedness for climate change adaptation." He continued: "Another concern is the limited human and institutional capacity to deal with climate change uncertainty and model impacts. Institutional and professional competences are yet to be fully built to develop and implement appropriate preparedness actions for climate change adaptation. There are very few experts in the country. There is urgent need for a National Centre/Institute on Climate Change. There is poor understanding of adaptation and inadequate data for evidence-based analysis. Adaptation challenge is not weir understood and scientific knowledge about needs and solutions remains weak. Extensive data gaps exist in Nigeria with respect to assessing impacts and adaptation strategies. "Other problems are: low level of awareness of the dimension of contemporary enVironmental problems, particularly climate change and the urgency to address them; there is need for climate change education and curriculum to increase awareness; limited political will and generally poor environmental governance; limited or lack of involvement of the large pro!lortlon of the population that depend on natural resources for livelihoods; and aversion to change and reluctance to adopt new strategies and poor Infrastructural development."
Climate change is predicted to worsen the incidence of drought and desertification and millions will be turned to refugees because of disaster, States such as Bornu, Sokoto, Jigawa, Zamfara, Kebbi, Yobe, Kaduna,Kano, Bauchi, Adamawa and Niger are at risk. Over 80 per cent of farmers who engage in agriculture, which is rainfed, will be affected. Our agricultural production system will be adversely affected by the variability in timing and amount of rainfall, frequent outbreaks of crop pests and diseases and heat stress. Food shortages will increase and many farmers could lose their sources of livelihood due to climate change
Gowon advocates urgent education sector reforms From Muylwa Adayaml, Ado Ekiti
D>RMER Head of State, CGeneral Yakubu Gowon has raised the alarm that Nigeria's education sector requires drastic but urgent sofution in order to save it from imminent collapse. The former Nigerian leader who spoke at the weekend in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital while deliverin~ the 2nd Founder's Day distinguished lecture of Afe Babalola University (ABUAD) said the situation in the nation's education sector had reached a
critical stage where it would be criminal to keep quiet and watch. He called for complete overhauling of the entire system as well as restructuring of its operations though a well conceived reform in order to return the lost confidence of the outside world in its quality. Gowon whose lecture was titled; "Falling standard of Education in Nigeria: The way forward" lamented that the value of Nigerta's education by all intent and purposes is "abysmally on the downward side".
"Today, one situation is so bad that it is difficult to merge content with practice. The woeful performance that has become a recurring decimal of late in most of our schools is so enormous that no mind concerned can continue to fold arms and watch the system deca짜 by the day . Continuing, Gowon said "the alarrning decline of quality of our education in Nigeria bas not been this tertible.1 feel sad as Head of State some 44 years ago that I live to expenence this rot, it is most unfortunate that virtually all the good legacies I put have been abused"
hesaid. He expressed regret that the results of students nationwi In last year's WAEC and NECO finals for 2009 and 2010 were so bad that they gave elo9uent testimony of the embarrassing tum of events in the sector". "A situation whereby- less than 13 percent of students passed in five required subjects for admission into University, especially in English and Mathematics is dangerous for a country that believes so much in the future of her youths. Or what do you see to graduates of nowadays that
can hardly described the content of his area of discipline after obtaining the degree"? The former Head of State blamed both the system, the parents and students for the rot, saying "a situation whereby an average Nigeria no longer believe in hard work but only in pursuit of money and wealth at all cost to the detriment of Intense study is not good for growth and development of a country". Earlier in separate addresses, the trio of Minister of State for Education, Mr. Kenneth Gbagi, Ekiti State Governor, Dr: Kayode Fayemi as well as the founder of the University.
Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) had spoke in the same vein with General Gowon, resolving that the best way out of the doldrums was to go back to the drawing board and restan again. Other eminent Nigerians who graced the occasion included the Minister of State for Federal Capital Territoty (FCf), Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade, Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, Navy Captain Atanda Yusuf, Col. Inua Bawa, Justice Alfa Belgore as well as Archbishop Ayo Methodist Church among several others.