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HomeGeneral InterestNigeria’s economic diversification demands natural capital accounting application- Ag. Director

Nigeria’s economic diversification demands natural capital accounting application- Ag. Director

By Ikenna Uwadileke
Abuja, Sept. 16, 2020 The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning says application of natural capital accounting to the country’s planning process is critical to attaining Nigeria’s economic diversification goals.

Mr Aso Vakporaye, Acting Director, Economic Growth in the ministry said this at a two-day workshop for Ministries, Departments and Agencies on “Mainstreaming Natural Capital Accounting into Nigeria’s Development Plan’’.

He said that the application of natural capital accounting would assist the country to achieve its economic diversification plan.

Natural capital economy is the process of calculating the stocks and flows of natural resources and services in a given ecosystem.

According to Vakporaye, accounting for such goods which may occur in physical or monetary terms, can help the country to diversify from oil-based economy to other natural resources.

“More income will be generated, we will fulfill the aspect of food security and we will have enough to feed Nigerians.

“We can put things together and can be exporting some of them.

“There are so many natural resources we can utilise to grow the economy.

“No doubt, even if there is no fossil fuel, these are enough to create income for national development.

“It is, therefore, important to provide detailed statistics for better management of these natural resources that contribute to economic development,’’ he said.

On his part, Mr Nnaemeka Oruh, the National Coordinator, Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE, Nigeria) said that Nigeria could also apply the principles of natural capital accounting to environmental protection and conservation.

“In addition, the process can subsequently inform government, corporate and consumer decision making as each relate to the use or consumption of natural resources and land.

“While we are trying to develop our Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), it is important that we apply the principles of natural capital accounting to assist Nigeria’s development plan.

“What we are doing is to ensure that government pays attention to the environment which is the bedrock of the economy.

“The country’s economy cannot survive without the environment; what we have been doing is taking from the environment without curtailing the plundering of the environment.

“We should take into consideration that when you take you should do something to replenish,’’ Oruh said.

Contributing, an environmental expert, Dr Eugene Itua, emphasised the need to protect the environment to give life more meaning.

“We don’t measure it in our Gross Domestic Products (GDP); we go to the forest, fell down the trees, we use water, we use energy but we don’t take account of all that we are doing rather than to just use,’’ Itua said.

Itua, who is Head, Natural Eco Capital, further pointed out the need to apply the process toward enhancing the country’s GDP, income and national planning.

“For a system that does not take account of this even if your GDP is growing, you are actually failing,’’ he said.

Previous articleCoastal erosion, flood threaten Fed. Poly, Ekowe — Rector Erosion By Nathan Nwakamma Yenagoa, Sept. 16, 2020 (NAN) The management of the Federal Polytechnic, Ekowe in Bayelsa, says the institution is under serious threat by coastal erosion and perennial flooding. The Rector of the institution, Dr Seiyaboh Idah, said this at a news briefing on Wednesday at the Liaison Office of the polytechnic in Yenagoa. Idah said that the erosion had washed away over 10 per cent of the polytechnic’s facilities. He, therefore, called for urgent federal and state governments’ intervention to arrest the situation. He said that the institution, which is situated on the bank of Nun River in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, needed shoreline protection. The News Ageny of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the institution, which is sited in the oil-rich creeks of Bayelsa, can only be assessed by passenger boat. The rector, who was represented at the briefing by his Executive Assistant, Mr Alagha Bibi-Welson, said that the polytechnic had the capacity to host 15,000 full-time and part-time students. He, however, regretted that it could not attain its full potential because of the erosion menace. Idah also regretted that the polytechnic had yet to hook up to the national grid, saying that the institution was operating on generators for 20 hours daily. He said that insecurity and perennial flooding had forced at least 5,000 students of Bayelsa origin to seek admission in neighbouring Delta State Polytechnic. The rector expressed delight that the workers’ salary shortfall, which had always caused industrial unrest in the polytechnic had been permanently resolved. He said that the resolution was made possible through the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari and that the development had boosted workers’ morale. Idah further said that the institution now enjoyed industrial peace and harmony between the management and the various staff and students’ unions. He expressed joy that the students’ population had increased to almost 4,000 as against 40 in 2017, when he assumed office. The rector said that the institution’s plan to admit 1,000 students in 2020 to boost the population to 5,000 was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. He listed other challenges facing the institution to include abandoned projects, dearth of workers and the lack of accommodation and access road.
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