By Asmau Ahmad
Nigeria has secured a $2.4 million support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation at the ongoing climate financing negotiation in COP27.
Minister for Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, disclosed this on Wednesday in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, venue of the global climate change conference.
He said the pledge was for intervention in the area of agroforestry as well as research and development in Soil Science.
“For instance, this morning, I was with the Bill and Melinda Foundation, they have pledged additional money to support our agroforestry and also support our development of digital technology in term of research and development on soil and activities that are related to planting of cowpea, beans, maize and rice.
“Their focus is to support smallholder farmers in term of developing both in capacity and knowledge for soil; soil science before planting, and capacity to also plant.
“That is a specific funding line from Bill and Melinda Foundation and it is about $2.4 million.
“We have also discussed with European Development Bank (EDB); they have indicated interest to finance some green projects in Nigeria, but they needed partner organisation in the country.
“We have open line of discussion with Bank of Industry to see whether they could serve as country representative for the EDB to identify with those projects and execute them,” he said.
Abdullahi, however, could not specifically say the total amount of the commitments the country had secured so far, as he said negotiations were still ongoing.
“We cannot say specifically that there are “x amount of money”, but they are windows of opportunity that will can exploit after the event. We have opened discussion with them.
“There is a group we call Good Soil DC. It is UK and Ghana based; they have committed to about $50 million to support activities in the REA (Rural Electrification Agency). I have match-make REA and Good Soil DC, to see how they can pluck from the $50 million.
“$50million dollars is not just meant for Nigeria. It is for general developing countries, but our ability to present a bankable, workable green and renewable project will determine the kind of quantum we will get.
“In general, I think we are making progress in term of funding opportunity,” the minister said.