The Global Environment Facility (GEF), a largest funder of environmental initiative, has approved 4.4 billion dollars about (N713.71 billion) to implement environmental projects in Nigeria in the next four years.
The Minister of Environment, Mrs Laurencia Mallam, disclosed this at a two-day GEF National Steering Committee Meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.
Mallam said the funding, approved at the just concluded replenishment meeting in Geneva by 30 donor countries, would be executed under the GEF-6 Cycle.
“It is an unprecedented landmark decision’’, she said, adding that it represents an increase of 3.5 per cent over GEF-5 allocation.
She said the steering committee meeting was to ensure inclusiveness in the implementation of the GEF project.
“The meeting is one of the strategies which we have put in place to broaden engagement that will ensure inclusion of all stakeholders in the sector.
“Our priority remains actions that will contribute to the economic transformation of Nigeria as conceived under the Vision 20:2020,’’ the minister said.
According to her, Nigeria’s participation in the GEF programmes is one of the major ways of ensuring that environmental challenges, with global dimension, are adequately addressed at the country level.
Mallam noted that the social and economic consequences of environmental challenges were not restricted to any particular country or region, thereby requiring collaborative action to contain.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs Rabi Jimeta, said GEF had served as financial mechanism to achieving obligations of relevant conventions within the focal areas of the facility.
Represented by Mr Danjuma Dauda, the Director of Planning, Research and Statistics in the ministry, Jimeta said that GEF projects had supported the poor and marginalised communities.
“Around 113 GEF Small Grant Projects have been executed in over 23 states to drive home initiatives that improved the state of environment in poor communities through Non-Government Organisations.