- An organisation, Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation, has called for the ban of coal mining in Nigeria
- The organisation said 3.7 million Nigerians die prematurely from inhalation of air polluted by coal mining
- The organisation also urged the federal government to stop the issuance of licence for coal mining in Nigeria
A civil society organisation has called for the ban of coal mining in Nigeria.
The organisation, Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP) urged the federal government and the Nigerian Senate to take measure towards ensuring a complete ban on mining.
The group said such efforts will mitigate effects of climate change in Nigeria.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, the team leader of the DeCOALonise Nigeria Coalition who is also the executive director of GISEP, David Michael, called on the ministry of mines and steel development to stop the issuance of licence for coal mining in Nigeria.
GIFSEP urged the leadership of the National Assembly to pass a law to ban coal mining.
Michael further reminded the federal government of the necessity of accelerating national plans to a rapid, just transition towards 100% renewable energy for all Nigerians.
He said as a signatory to the Paris Agreement, the federal government should strive towards abiding by the commitments of the agreement which requires phased reduction of greenhouse gases emissions.
Michael said: "The Federal Government of Nigeria in 2017 ratified the Paris Agreement and therefore has an obligation to reduce its carbon emission and this includes among several other action s the outright ban on coal mining."
He also said it is regrettable that the federal ministry of mines and steel development is issuing coal mining licenses to power generating firms.
"Burning coal raises the level of carbon dioxide, goes against the government plans pledges for low carbon development pathway and contradicts the Paris Climate Agreement ratified by the Federal Government
"Nigeria has a serious problem of power generation, the group stated, but insisted that coal is not the right answer.
"Burning coal poses severe health, human and environmental effects. Emissions are responsible for respiratory illnesses, cardiovascular disease, asthma attacks, brain damage and cancer.
"They affect the environment by creating acid rain, depleting surface or groundwater and contribute to global climate change.
"Evidence are abound in Gombe and Kogi State where coal is currently mined in Nigeria.
"While governments around the world are switching to more cleaner, efficient and sustainable energy solutions, there is no valid argument to explore coal options.
"Nigeria will not be left behind the anti-coal movement," the group said.
The group added that there is no appropriate time for Nigeria to join the rest of the world in banning coal mining and making the world a better place to live in.
"It’s time to de COALonise!" GIFSEP demanded.
Also speaking, the president CLIMATTERS, Smart Ammaefule, said that about 3.7 million premature deaths have so far been recorded in Nigeria as a result of inhaling air pollution that generate from coal.
Ammaefule expressing concern over the recent Memorandum of Understanding recently signed by the governor of Enugu state, Ifeanyi Ugwanyi, on behalf of the state with the Chinese government to commence coal mining in Enugu said the move shows ten steps backwards in the bid to achieve the elimination of coal mining in the country.
Also, a representative from Global Rights, a body responsible for Human Rights said a research report has revealed that most of the rural communities in Kogi and Gombe state are going through various forms of ailments as a result of persistent usage of contaminated water.
She stressed the need to embrace renewable energy as it is been done globally hence it is cheaper and safer.
The group further staged a walk to the Ministry of Mines and Steels where they submitted a petition with the title DeCOALonise Nigeria.
The petition was received by some officials in the ministry on behalf of the minister.
NAIJ.com earlier reported that the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development denied reports that it spent N700 million creating a website.
The ministry said the report which made rounds in the media was misinterpreted and not factual.
It said the sum was budgeted for an integrated IT infrastructure at the ministry.
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