United Kingdom (UK) has pledged support to make Nigeria’s agriculture sector more resilient to climate change, promising to assist more than four million people develop better farming practices and reduce harmful carbon emissions.
A statement on Tuesday, 1 August, 2023, signed by Senior Communications & Public Diplomacy Officer. Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office | British High Commission, Atinuke Akande-Alegbe read:
“Foreign Secretary pledges support to make Nigeria’s agriculture sector more resilient to climate change on a visit to Nigeria.”
The statement added that funding from UK will help more than four million people develop better farming practices and reduce harmful carbon emissions.
According to the statement, James Cleverly’s trip to Nigeria comes on a three-country visit to Africa where he is prioritising future-focussed, mutually-beneficial partnerships.
The statement added that: “The Foreign Secretary will announce a new package of support to make Nigeria’s agriculture sector more climate resilient, as he arrives in the country today, continuing his four-day African visit.
“More than two thirds of Nigeria’s population depend on agriculture for employment. This new funding will help boost the Nigerian agricultural sector’s productivity and resilience to the impacts of climate change, transforming Nigerian critical agriculture and food systems for the benefit of people, climate and nature. UK support will help to develop heat and flood tolerant crops and increase soil fertility. New support will help grow the UK’s economy by alleviating some of the agricultural trade barriers to UK imports.
“It comes on the second leg of the Foreign Secretary’s three-country visit to Africa, where he is prioritising future-focussed, mutually-beneficial relationships.
“In Lagos today, he will announce a £10 million UK-backed facility in Nigeria, in partnership with finance company InfraCredit that will unlock funding for sustainable and climate-friendly infrastructure development projects – such as providing renewable energy services to homes in urban areas, as well as green housing.
“Tomorrow, in Abuja he will announce a £55 million Propcom+ contract, a UK International Climate Finance programme which aims to support the transformation of Nigeria’s rural economy, and a £2.89 million grant, will support more than four million people across Nigeria to adopt and scale up sustainable agricultural practices. This includes improving the health of animals, making crops more resilient, and introducing cleaner cooking practices. This in turn will help increase productivity, capacity and resilience among small-scale farmers and rural communities across Nigeria while reducing carbon emissions and protecting natural ecosystems.”
The Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly was quoted in the statement to have said: “Nigeria has a booming population and the largest economy in Africa – there is huge potential for an even closer partnership between UK-and Nigerian businesses which will be of mutual benefit to both countries.
“Together we are focussing on the future putting in place green, clean measures, both in agriculture and infrastructure development, to create climate-resilient solutions for the global challenges we all face today and will increasingly face in the years to come. ”
The statement said that on his first visit to Nigeria, the Foreign Secretary will also visit a UN Humanitarian Air Service centre in Nigeria’s capital Abuja where he will hear how over £38 million of UK funding has helped vulnerable communities in the North-East of Nigeria.
Over four million people are facing food insecurity, and two million children under five are acutely malnourished in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States. This funding is helping to protect people, build their resilience to the ongoing food shortage crisis, and prevent famine.
The Foreign Secretary will also meet Nigerian president Bola Ahmed Tinubu and National Security Advisor Mallam Nuhu Ribadu to discuss the UK-Nigeria partnership and key common priorities, including how to increase bilateral trade and investment, economic development, regional issues, and strengthened security cooperation.