In order to help Nigeria combat her climate challenges, the European Union (EU) has promised to support the country with not less than €150 million. The EU Ambassador to Nigeria and Head of delegation, Ketil Karlsen made this disclosure at the EU Climate Sustainability event held at the Dangote Business School, Bayero University Kano.

“We are supporting Nigeria with €150 million for the renewable energy programme now,” the EU ambassador said.

According to Karlsenthe EU would also give Nigeria additional €8 million as technical support for effective implementation of non-climate change issues in the country.

The challenges: President Muhammadu Buhari had highlighted the climate challenges facing the country, saying, “Nigeria is a neighbour to the Sahara Desert, Lake Chad is shrinking while the population is exploding.”

Speaking during a meeting with the Nigerian Youths Climate Group shortly before his departure for Abuja at the conclusion of his engagements during the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA74), in New York, the president added that, “It’s a challenging situation. With less land, less rainfall, these are very unique problems for the country.” 

Why this matters: Agriculture is no doubt the mainstay of the Nigerian economy, as it contributes 40% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs about 70% of the working population in the country (CIA, 2012). Agriculture is also recognised as the largest economic activity in the country.

It is, however, pertinent to note that agriculture and fisheries are highly dependent on the climate. Increases in temperature and carbon dioxide (CO2) can increase some crop yields in some places. But to realize these benefits, nutrient levels, soil moisture, water availability, and other conditions must also be met.

Changes in the frequency and severity of droughts and floods could pose challenges for farmers and ranchers and threaten food safety.