Nigeria is in serious need of sustainable solutions to her numerous challenges However, the country does not have the fundamental requirements required to take the country out of these challenges. One of the fundamentals to scale out of deplorable situations in Nigeria is a sound knowledge base. But, one of the sources of such knowledge, that is, the Ministry of Environment Library has stopped functioning.
The country’s Ministry of Environment had a functional library at its Green House, Abuja. Until lately when this facility was shut down on the basis of relocating it to the ministry headquarters at Mabuchi, Abuja. However, there is nothing like a library that serves people within or outside the ministry in the headquarters.
Important roles of the library
The library in question feeds a number of us with required resources needed for research and campaign for sustainable development of Nigeria. For instance, all the environmental impact assessments for many projects that are about to start across the country are always in the library for a period of 30 days. This allows for scrutinizing to propose projects and identifying unsustainable projects in order to raise alarm if there is any discrepancy.
The library allows interested or concerned citizens to equip themselves with relevant knowledge which the Green House was doing for many of us. In addition to learning, it is a place to see reasons in taking actions to mitigate against or adapt to climate change.
A wrong decision by the ministry
It is a total wrong policy for the authority of the ministry to shut down a library that is a medium of acquiring knowledge for climate action. Still, the same ministry represents the country in all the climate conferences around the globe including the just concluded COP22 claiming Nigeria is going to implement her National Determined Contribution.
How are they going to implement dozens of climate agreements that the nation has entered into without building strong environmental governance that can drive on the wheel of a sound knowledge of Nigerians especially those who are concern about her sustainability?
The environment minister
Nigeria has a Minister of Environment that understands what is at stake for sustainable development of Nigeria. And she has a wealth of experience on its governance. But it is surprising to see a functional library of the ministry shut under her watch.
This is a note to those who occupy the country’s institutions. They should know that some Nigerians are working tirelessly to see the country move towards sustainable development even when they are not being recognized for their works.
As noted by Dr Olanrewaju Fagbohun that “sustainable development cannot be achieved in the absence of environmental governance”, and environmental governance encompasses all members of a society just like any other governance.
Therefore, the Federal Ministry of Environment has to reopen the library so members of the public will have access to more information. Which will make them take climate actions and help the country to a thread on the path of inclusive development.