PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has regretted the negative effects of climate change on the country which he said has exacerbated farmers/herdsmen crisis in the country.
Speaking in an audience with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) at the presidential villa, Abuja on Friday, he also noted the impact of what he regarded as man-made environmental problems adversely affecting lives in the Niger Delta.
While congratulating ICAN for the recently concluded 48th Annual Accountants’ Conference with the theme, “Securing our Shared Future: A Collective Responsibility,” he counselled that in the present circumstances, all hands must be on deck to ensure Nigerians work towards an inclusive, diversified and sustainable future.
While expressing delight that the communique at the end of the conference talked about environmental issues facing our nation, Buhari said: “It is very clear to all of us that climate change and environmental challenges are the major threat to the peace and prosperity of our nation and its citizens.
“In the Niger-Delta region, man-made environmental problems have adversely impacted the livelihoods of the inhabitants. Farmers and fishermen, in particular, have seen their means of livelihood destroyed. Our assessments have shown it will take decades to reverse this damage.
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“But we have made a start. With or without international cooperation, we are starting to clean up our degraded areas, beginning with Ogoni.
“In the North Central region, we are also seeing a significant increase in farmer herdsmen clashes. This trend, which is recurring in many West and Central African nations is as a result of desertification.
“We are also seeing unpredictable rain patterns resulting in significant floods across our riverine communities. These floods have destroyed hundreds of homes and farmlands.”
The president said as Chartered Accountants, ICAN members’ knowledge of environmental and sustainability business practices is critical.
He further stated: “You have a responsibility to ensure your clients, in both the public and private sector, prioritise environmental sustainability in their operations.
“In the past 3 years, this administration has worked hard to enhance the transparency and efficiency of public sector financing through the Treasury Single Account.
“We have also introduced policies that are improving the business environment. We have implemented projects that enable young entrepreneurs. We will also continue to review obsolete laws that are hindering growth in many sectors.”
While thanking the association for support and guidance, Buhari said he will direct the Economic Management Team to review and address the concerns the association has raised in its remarks, with a view to implementing your recommendations.
He ICAN that government will continue to partner with “prestigious institutions like ICAN for the development of this nation.”