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UK pledges support for Nigeria’s environmental programmes

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Issue date: 
February 16, 2011
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The British government will support Nigeria’s effort to manage her environment through reduction of carbon emission, Henry Bellingham, British minister for Africa and the United Nations, said yesterday in Abuja.

Mr. Bellingham, who spoke at the ministries of environment and foreign affairs when he paid his first official visit to Nigeria, said the country’s role in the Cote d’ Ivoire crisis should also be commended.

He said his first visit to the country after assumption of duties was borne out of the resolution by the UK to strengthen partnership with its allies.

Speaking at the ministry of foreign affairs, the British official described Nigeria as a country that plays important role not only in Africa but in the United Nations. He said though both countries have very strong trade relationship, there was need for the countries to improve on it and even double it by 2015 as, according to him, there is huge potential to improve.

“We are very pleased to support your strong lead on the issue of Cote d’ Ivoire. The Cote d’ Ivoire situation has been particularly concerning because there are many elections that are taking place in Africa this year. As at the last count, there are over twenty. If the signal goes out to say that you lose an election and remain in power to decide what you want, that will be sending the worst possible signal,” Mr. Bellingham said.

Salamatu Suleiman, minister of state for foreign affairs, said Nigeria still maintains her stand that Laurent Gbagbo steps down for Allasane Outarra, the winner of the last presidential election in the country, and will continue to monitor the situation in the country.

“I would also like to say that we are very happy with the stand that the British government has taken on Cote d’ Iviore, which will help very much in the resolution of the crisis,” she said.

“We appreciate the sanction you have already imposed and your pledge to work with the ECOWAS and maintain the stance of the international community has taken so far. We are still working on the issue of Cote D’ Ivoire; we are hoping that very soon, we are going to begin to see results,” she further said.


Partners in progress

While at the ministry of environment, Mr. Bellingham commended Nigeria’s performance at the Conference of the Parties (COP 16) held in Mexico, saying that Britain will partner Nigeria on the implementation of the various recommendations of the conference, which is targeted at reducing carbon emission.

John Odey, minister of environment, said Nigeria needs the support of Britain to plug into the United Nation’s Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) programme.

He thanked the British embassy of Nigeria for supporting Nigeria’s climate change campaign, particularly in the areas of sensitisation and awareness creation across the country.

“Our relationship goes far beyond bilateral relationship. It is through this collaboration that we will deepen it in the interest of the generality of the people. We are also pleased to be involved in the forestry programme.

“We can work out strategy to benefit in the REDD programme. The climate change conference in Cancun is a pacesetter, a way forward for us,” Mr. Odey said.


Extpub | by Dr. Radut