The Federal Government has unveiled the staggering financial cost of the direct economic devastation inflicted upon Nigeria by the catastrophic floods of 2022, a sum totaling $7 billion.
Vice President Kashim Shettima said this on Tuesday, at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change event in Abuja.
He noted that this environmental calamity, arguably the gravest manifestation of climate change in Nigeria, has resulted in an unparalleled toll on both financial and human fronts.
Vice President Shettima spoke through his Deputy Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Hassan.
The Vice President highlighted the relentless and immobilizing inundation experienced by the country throughout 2022, which brought daily life to a grinding halt for an extended period.
Highlighting the magnitude of the catastrophe, the World Bank’s Global Rapid post-disaster damage estimation assessment quantified the direct economic wreckage inflicted on the nation’s infrastructure, calculating it to be a staggering $7 billion.
This financial jolt, representing approximately 1.6% of Nigeria’s projected Gross Domestic Product for the year 2021, was inflicted concurrently with the unfathomable loss of more than 600 lives.
In the Vice President’s somber words, “This is climate change at its most devastating, a stark reminder that our nation, as a developing entity in the global south, is disproportionately affected by the adverse repercussions of climate change.
Notably, Nigeria holds an unfortunate rank among the 10 most susceptible countries worldwide to the cascading effects of this phenomenon.”
A grave irony lies in the fact that Nigeria’s contribution to the overall global carbon emissions that underpin climate change is meager, accounting for a fraction of four percent of total worldwide emissions.
The Vice President underscored this point, reiterating Africa’s role as a minor contributor in contrast to the monumental consequences it bears.
Undoubtedly, the scars left by these climate-induced trials have not been confined to the Vice President’s speech.
A significant portion of Nigeria, particularly its North-Eastern region, bears the indelible marks of climate change.
Lives have been forever altered, and communities have had to contend with the aftermath of droughts, desertification, erratic rainfall patterns giving rise to relentless sandstorms, extreme floods, and the painful obliteration of farmlands, critical infrastructure, and precious human settlements.
The Vice President’s words resound as a plea for global unity and collective action, affirming that Nigeria’s struggle serves as an emblematic battlefront in the larger war against climate change.
The nation, though disproportionately affected, stands united in its resolve to confront this unparalleled challenge and work towards a more sustainable and resilient future.
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