Nigeria’s population needs to be properly managed ― Lagos deputy gov
Lagos State deputy governor, Dr Kadir Obafemi Hamzat, has said that with the challenging economic situation in the country, there is the need for Nigeria to control its rapidly growing population to limit the threat of climate change and protect the environment.
Hamzat made the call while speaking at a Lecture to celebrate the 70th birthday and retirement of distinguished Professor Babajide Ibitayo Alo, stressing that the nation needed to manage its population especially as there were many fathers who could not meet up with the challenge of raising their children.
The deputy governor, while comparing the population growth of Nigeria with that of United Kingdom (UK), observing a significant increase from 67 million to over 200 million within 61 years, sadly noted that there was widespread lack of parental responsibilities.
Delivering the lecture, themed: “The Role and Perspective of Government in Resolving Current Issues on Global Environmental Challenges,” Hamzat described climate change as a threat to humanity, saying it needed a deliberate and immediate actions to curb.
He said Lagos State government had, in the last 10 to 14 years, taken climate change issues seriously by putting together numerous policy frameworks and adopting global best practices to shape government’s response to climate change challenges.
“We are aware that as a highly vulnerable coastal state with a rapidly growing population, we must act and act fast to protect its fragile ecosystems and populations in low-lying areas.
“Guided by the climate change scenarios and the target of achieving net-zero carbon emission by 2050, we identified a series of climate action plans in the water, transport and the energy sectors respectively,” he stated.
On transport sector, the deputy governor disclosed that the state government planned to expand the BRT network, deploy low-emission buses, and provide vehicles to the BRT Traffic edge of the city, while, in the energy sector, it planned to deploy decentralized renewable energy installations such as solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in schools, hospitals and municipal buildings.
The Oniru of Iru land Oba Abdulwasiu Omogbolahun Lawal, in his remark, called for the cooperation of the people in the protection of the environment, saying government alone cannot do it as they rely on the citizen’s support to improve efforts to protect the environment.
This was just as the monarch noted that the lukewarm support by the citizens might hamper environmental policies from achieving the desired effects.
He, however, said the Lagos State government was striving to build a more sustainable city that would be resilient to the effect of climate change and reduce carbon footprint, by adapting a compact city plan and establishing six air quality monitoring stations.
In his exaugural lecture, the celebrant, Prof. Alo, urged government to deepen the domestication of relevant training, research and development and improve local content drive in all sectors of the economy.
According to him, “The is a very desirable need for strengthening the multi-disciplinary research in our universities and research institutions for competence and excellence in the university’s research and innovation efforts and achieving access to more international grants.”