"Nigeria will soon understand the impact of economic activities on its environment and have regular information for decision making," promised Mahmood Abubakar Muhammad, Nigeria's Minister of Environment, who will partner with REPRC-EfD Nigeria, to develop Natural Capital Accounts (NCA) for the country.
Move for NCA project started in 2020
For the past year, the Resource and Environmental Policy Research Centre, Environment for Development (REPRC-EfD) Nigeria has been championing incorporating NCA into Nigeria’s system of national accounts following the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) standard.
REPRC-EfD Nigeria, in collaboration with the West Africa Regional Platform on Natural Capital, organized in December 2020, a two-day training and sensitization workshop for technical officers in relevant ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) in Nigeria to facilitate the incorporation of NCA into the system of national accounts and mainstreaming it into decision making.
World Bank finances the development of pilot NCA accounts
The Director of REPRC-EfD Nigeria, Nnaemeka Chukwuone said that the output of the 2020 workshop attracted the support of the World Bank to finance a project titled “Towards Natural Capital Accounts for Nigeria”.
Under the project, REPRC-EfD Nigeria is expected to carry out stakeholders’ engagement, design pilot accounts for greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, collect and compile data for specific accounts with a focus on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emission Account and Pollution Account (PM 2.5), produce a pilot account for GHG emission and PM 2.5, present the pilot accounts and draft report to stakeholders, and investigate and recommend the institutional arrangements needed to advance natural capital accounting in Nigeria
“The main objective of the project is to prepare Nigeria towards becoming a core implementing country for natural capital accounting in the Global Program for Sustainability”, Nnaemeka Chukwuone said.
Government and policymakers endorse the project
To secure the endorsement of the government and policymakers, Namemeka Chukwuone, led a team from REPRC-EfD Nigeria and representatives of some relevant agencies to a courtesy visit on the Minister of Environment on July 8, 2021.
The purpose of the visit was to request the Nigerian government to play a frontal role in the NCA project while EfD Nigeria provides technical support through the Ministry of Environment.
Enthused by the idea of the project, the Minister, Muhammad Mahmood Abubakar, promised to set up a technical committee in his ministry to partner with EfD Nigeria to “achieve the extraordinary feat”. The Minister expressed the readiness of his ministry to play a leading role in the NCA in Nigeria as well as mobilize other agencies and institutions to support and finance the idea.
“If Nigeria could properly account for its natural resources, it would attract investors to the country and help promote the conservation of our environment”, Muhammad Mahmood Abubakar said.