From Okwe Obi, Abuja

The Chief Executive Officer of Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative (AREAi), Gideon Olanrewaju, has disclosed that the United Kingdom has provided funds for the reduction of carbon emission in the country.

Olanrewaju, who addressed journalists yesterday in Abuja, noted that part of the funds which are through the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) would be used to mitigate the environmental impact of Nigeria’s technology ecosystem.

According to him, the Smart Climate Awareness, Learning and Empowerment (SCALE) programme, would champion evidence generation, knowledge management and mobilisation, incentivised capacity development, media-driven public awareness, and high-level policy advocacy activities.

He added that the intervention would align producers, consumers and stakeholders of the technology sector with eco-consciousness, ensuring a greener and more sustainable future for Nigeria’s digital landscape.

“This nationwide initiative, under the theme, ‘Smart Climate Awareness, Learning and Empowerment (SCALE) for Net Zero’ programme will directly engage information and communications technology (ICT) companies, digital start-ups, innovation hubs and other key stakeholders in the tech ecosystem to facilitate their understanding about technology’s high negative environmental cost, and then mobilise them to collectively commit and act towards reducing their contributions to digital carbon footprint.

“Through this intervention, AREAi will drive a large-scale citizenry engagement strategy, by providing empowerment to key technology hubs located across Abia, Rivers, Lagos, Kaduna and Adamawa states, as well as the Federal Capital Territory.

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“As part of the implementation, the organisation will also be working in collaboration with research institutions, tech startups, government agencies and civil society organisations.

“More significantly, to mobilise high level stakeholders’ engagement in fulfilment of the policy regulatory requirements of the initiative, we will be exploring key partnerships with National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, E-waste Producer Responsibility Organisation Nigeria, National Information Technology Development Agency, the Department of Climate Change (DCC) of the Federal Ministry of Environment, the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC), the Inter-ministerial Committee on Climate Change (ICCC), and the Nigerian Energy Transition Plan Office,” he said.

He echoed the commitment of the organisation to leverage organisational expertise and extensive capacity in leading digital transformation and sustainability initiatives through research, policy advocacy and practice to the actualisation of the entire project’s objectives.

In the same vein, Idongesit Udoh, Head of the UK Government’s Digital Access Programme and Country Adviser, said: “This intervention, undoubtedly, represents a novel pioneering effort to leverage evidence-based, citizens-led approaches to catalyse unprecedented progress in digital sustainability awareness and supporting the progressive use of technology in a way that is environmentally responsible, socially equitable, and economically viable.

“Hence, the UK Government is once again demonstrating timely support, not only for Nigeria’s inclusive economic development, but also in building eco-friendliness within its technology ecosystem through energy-efficient technology business operations.

“Our DAP programme will continue to initiate significant partnerships with local organisations to drive the UK Government’s continued support for Nigeria and its digital sector, recognising the tech ecosystem’s role in net zero transition and sustainable development.”