Generally, Africa has an urgent need to effectively address climate change because of its effects on the continent. According to the UNFCCC, the regions with the greatest capacity gaps in terms of climate services are Africa and the small island developing States. Due to these gaps, there is a continued need for climate change adaptation planning using accurate and up-to-date data.
In Nigeria, the impacts of climate change on economic and social infrastructure have become obvious. Climate change in Nigeria has resulted in drought and flood seasons, affecting agricultural activities, and causing loss of housing. According to the National Emergency Management Agency floods displaced about 1.9 million Nigerians in 2018. Villages in Southern Nigeria, such as Lagos and some parts of the Niger Delta, have been underwater due to increasing sea levels and ocean surges. Floods also damage health and medical facilities nearly every year. Drought in some parts of the North has decreased the amount of available drinking water. In addition to these actual impacts, severe weather can also potentially worsen Nigeria’s road infrastructure, where roads are not properly maintained. Hydroelectric and thermal power generation for electricity will also be affected by climate change because of their sensitivity to changes in precipitation and temperature.
The Nigerian government has initiatives geared toward improving climate change adaptation for the benefit of its people and communities. In 2021, the Federal Government of Nigeria introduced a new project to design the country’s National Adaptation Plan. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) supports this effort. This new project builds upon Nigeria’s National Adaptation Strategy and Plan of Action on Climate Change in Nigeria (NASPA-CCN), which has existed since 2011. NASPA-CCN’s objective is to decrease climate change impacts in Nigeria through adaptation processes that may be implemented by federal, state, and local governments as well as civil society, the private sector, communities, and individuals. Importantly, NASPA-CCN targets specific economic and social infrastructure like health and sanitation, human settlements and housing, energy, fresh and coastal water resources, transportation and communications, and education. It highlights goals, strategies, policies, programmes, and measures to improve Nigeria’s climate infrastructure.
Apart from the new project toward the NAP and the NASPA-CCN, there are other frameworks like the National Adaptation Plan Framework developed in June 2020 and the National Climate Change Policy Response and Strategy, which Nigeria developed over the years in a bid to ensure adaptation and build a climate-resilient system. In addition, there is the Nigeria Electrification Project, a private sector-led Federal Government initiative aimed at closing the energy access gap by supplying unserved and underserved rural communities with off-grid alternatives such as microgrid and solar systems. As of August 2022, the project had recorded 11,263 electricity connections via microgrid, and 770,579 electricity connections via solar home systems. For responses to flooding, Nigerian states, and local governments have allocated funding resources under the Nigerian derivation fund for ecology and disaster management.
It was recently announced in August 2022 that Nigeria plans to raise an initial $10 billion to support an Energy Transition Plan before COP27, which is slated for November 2022. To implement its Energy Transition Plan by 2060, Nigeria requires $410 billion over business-as-usual spending, loosely translating to a yearly expense of $10 billion. The funding is expected to come from international organizations such as the World Bank, which pledged $1.5 billion, and government-to-government financing, such as current negotiations with the US Export-Import Bank. It is further expected that resources for effective climate change adaptation will come from public-private partnerships, as seen in the Nigeria Electrification Project, a federal government initiative coordinated by the private sector.
The foregoing shows that the Nigerian government has an ongoing focus on climate change adaptation. These plans, strategies, and measures should be promptly and effectively implemented more proactively to improve the specific economic and social infrastructure highlighted under the NASPA-CCN.
This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Nigeria Country Manager Oluwatoyin Oladapo