By Ralph Madugu
The process towards Plateau State Reimagining Plateau State shifting from a ‘brown agenda’ to a ‘green agenda’ has kick started with a gathering of key players, including driving government ministries, departments, agencies as well as the private sector coming together at a 2-day event to develop a strategy aimed at promoting and supporting Plateau State in its transition to a green economy.
Known as “The Plateau State Green Growth Strategy Development Process”, it is a private sector driven initiative in partnership with the Program Management and Result Development Office of the Plateau State Government which brought together participants drawn from across seven driving ministries in the state including Transport, Physical Planning and Urban Development, Agriculture and Rural Development, Commerce and Industry, Tourism and Hospitality, Youth and Sports Development, among others.
Speaking on behalf of Tearfund collaborating parties, Executive Secretary, Nigeria Evangelical Fellowship (NEF), Akinyele Abiodun James, said the event was to kick start a process that would see Plateau State shifting from an oil dependent economy to a green economy.
According to him, it is no longer news that oil economy is fading away, stating that Plateau could not afford to wait until that time when oil revenue is no longer coming to the state by way of monthly Federal allocation hence the initiative to a green economy which will serve as an alternative to oil.
He said, “This is the outcome of a process that gave birth to a Green Paper. The vision is to transit from brown to a green economy. We are all aware that the oil economy is fading away.”
In a presentation through slides, Lead Facilitator and Tearfund Advocacy Manager, Mr. Ben Osawe, took participants through the ‘Reimagine Plateau Project’ where he highlighted the connection between the project and the Green Growth Strategy, the principles for Green Growth Planning, the benefits of the Project to the State and its alignment with existing and other ongoing development Plans of the Plateau State Government.
According to him, if Nigeria is to face the realities and the trends considering a transition from brown to green economy, Plateau State has “brand assets” to rely upon, adding that Plateau has been described as a state with strategic place in shaping Nigeria’s development path, hence the choice of it for the pilot project.
During the 2-day gathering, participants broke out into 5 specific groups with different sessions focusing on introduction of the ‘Reimagine Plateau Project,’ diagnosis: Phase of the Green Growth Planning Process, and Assessment Phase of the Green Growth Process.
During the breakout sessions, participants embarked on an environmental scan and analysis of Plateau State in the context of transition to a Green Growth path reflecting on societal, political, economic, environmental and cultural domains and impacts on commitment to the transition to green growth path in the State.
They also took time to identify existing policies, commitments and frameworks supportive of transition to green economy in the state as well as identifying national commitments for transitioning to green growth that have been mainstreamed in government ministries and agencies in Plateau State among other issues relating to the planning process.
It would be recalled that in October 2020, a template for national renewal, called The Nigeria Green Papers, which is a collection of 12 key papers spanning the breadth of issues that have challenged the nation on its path to nationhood and contributed in pushing the nation to brink, was presented to the public.
The Nigerian Green Paper gave rise to the Plateau State paper on transition to Green Economy accompanied by seven models developed on what such a transition would look like covering environment, water resources and energy, agriculture, economic planning, youth development, urban development, transport and tourism.