From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
An environmentalist, Prince Dan-Mbachi, has urged the governments in Niger Delta region to promote and invest more in agriculture as a way of tackling the effects of climate change which is presently an international discuss.
Dan-Mbachi who is the President, Africa Global Development for Positive Change Initiative (ADIAfrica), spoke with The AUTHORITY on Sunday in Port Harcourt, while reacting on possible solution to climate change.
According to the environmentalist, one of the causes of climate change is pollution generated from activities of oil and gas multinationals and bunkering (artisanal refinery) by some youths in the region. He regretted that the government at the central has not really tackled the issue of oil pollution by multinationals; hence there are more reports of spills in the region.
He said if the government at the region should concentrate more on agriculture, creating jobs for the youths, thereby diverting their (youths) attention from the artisanal refinery activities, the region will experience clean and crime free environment.
Dan-Mbachi who was an observer at the United Nations Climate change conference in Madrid, Spain last year December, maintained that the people in Niger Delta need to be engaged in agriculture and agro-business to enhance the living standard of the people which will aid in promoting the entire economy of the country through the agricultural produce.
He said: “The energy of the youths in the Niger Delta region has to be channeled to local content through agriculture for economic diversification. The region is blessed with fertile lands which if properly utilised for agriculture purpose, will enhance the economy of Nigeria and even export agric produce to neighbouring countries.
“ADIAfrica is an international organization that has branches in 18 African countries and the vision of the organization is to promote peace, rural agricultural development, campaign against environmental hazard. We also advocate for clean shores.
“We are calling on the government of the Niger Delta to take agriculture very serious because that is where the world is fallen back to. Why we are advocating for improvement in agriculture is because oil and gas will not be forever and when look at the developed countries they invest more in agriculture.
“We can also help and save our environment by promoting renewable energy instead of fossil fuel. The government should also start up awareness for promotion of rural agriculture,” Dan-Mbachi advised.