Environment Minister urges NASS to pass climate change bill

As the National Council on Environment opened in Abuja, the Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ekeazor has appealed to the Nigerian National Assembly (NASS) to speed up action on the passing into law, of the Bill on Climate Change, which she said has already passed second reading on the floor of the House.

She said this has become necessary so as to have a legal instrument that would address the myriads of Climate Change actions and challenges in the country.

Declaring the 3-day Council open, the Minister applauded the resilience of the critical stakeholders during this trying period of Covid19 pandemic.

“Your participation in this event is a testimony to your unwavering faith in our collective resolve to reverse all adversities in the sector and sustainably manage our Environment in the face of the multiple concerns exacerbated by the novel Covid-19 pandemic”.

She said the theme of the meeting “Managing Emerging Environmental challenges: Need for Strategic Approach to Sustainable Development in Covid 19 era and beyond” was strategically chosen to underscore the realities of global health challenges occasioned by the pandemic and the need to tackle the attendant issues to ameliorate the environmental and developmental consequences that may confront our nation if we fail to act now.

“This, therefore, underscores the crucial nature of this meeting. As a sector, the need for us to deliberate on the increasing concerns with a view to generating actionable policy framework and measures to guide our actions towards addressing these emerging concerns is uppermost. This is why we are here.”

She therefore charged the participants to engage their various experiences, expertise and ingenuity during the 3-day event towards finding lasting solutions to the multifaceted environmental challenges confronting our nation that include biodiversity loss, Climate Change and Codi-19 pandemic.

Welcoming delegates to the Council meeting, the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Environment, Mr Abel Enitan disclosed that the meeting was previously scheduled to hold in kano towards the end of last year, but could not due to the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic.

Enitan said that was why the Council had to be postponed and subsequently repackaged to accommodate the virtual option in a bid to ensure strict compliance with Covid-19 public health and safety protocols.

“As a result of the inability of this meeting to accommodate the various memoranda from all stakeholders, the ministry has carefully selected 45 memoranda with broad relevance to specific situations and circumstances of members.

In a goodwill message on behalf of the Senate Committee on Environment, Senator Micheal Nnachi called for the involvement of more Non-Governmental Organizations in the ministry’s activities as most of its activities are grassroots oriented that require a lot of mobilization and enlightenment.

He said the Senate is very much aware of the lean envelope of the Ministry despite its enormous responsibilities, and therefore assured that positive reviews are being made to facilitate and boost its funding windows.

The Director General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, Prof. Mansur Bako Matazu appealed to the Minister and the council to push for the support of the ratification of the National Framework for the Application of Climate Service ( NFACS), as this will ensure a seamless access to climate service information for the benefit of all.

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