REP. ONUIGBO ADVOCATES A LEGAL FRAMEWORK TO BATTLE CLIMATE CHANGE.
Member Representing Ikwuano/Umuahia North and South Federal Constituency of Abia State Representative Samuel Onuigbo has again reiterated the need for Nigeria to have a Legal Framework to help her articulate her fight against Climate Change.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja on the heels of the passage of a bill he sponsored titled A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Main streaming of Climate Change Actions, Establish the National Council on Climate Change; and for other Related Matters, the Lawmaker explained that the country lacked clear-cut legislation on Climate Change.
The Deputy Chairman House Ad hoc Committee on COVID-19, who is the Chairman Climate Parliament in Nigeria, expressed worry over the rising impact of Climate Change such as drought, coastal and gully erosion, health challenges, desertification with the attendant food shortages and forced migration that has led to insecurity, amongst others.
Rep. Onuigbo also said the bill’s objective is to ensure that Nigeria has a legal framework that will help coordinate her efforts at Climate Change mitigation and adaptation.
The Climate Change advocate who is also the Vice President of Africa Global Leadership Organizations for a Balanced Environment, GLOBE, maintained that the Bill will develop a yearly Carbon Budget for Nigeria with the ultimate aim of attaining net-zero emission between 2050-2070.
Rep Onuigbo while appreciating the Speaker, other principal officers and his colleagues appealed to the Senate to give a speedy concurrence to the Bill giving its importance.
The lawmaker highlights the provisions of the legislation. ‘Establishment of the National Council on Climate Change to be headed by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Other members of the Council are: the Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who shall be the Vice-Chairman; the Minister responsible for Environment; the Minister responsible for Petroleum Resources; the Minister responsible for Budget and National Planning; the Minister of Justice; the Minister responsible for Mines and Steel Development; the Minister of Finance; the Minister responsible for Agriculture and Rural Development; the Minister responsible for Power; the Minister responsible for Women Affairs; the Minister responsible for Transportation; the Minister responsible for Water Resources; the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; National Security Adviser; the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum; The President of
Association of Local Government of Nigeria; a representative of the private
sector on climate change or environment-related matters, nominated by the registered national umbrella association; a most representative of women, youths, and persons with disabilities, each to be nominated by the most representative registered national umbrella association, a representative of environment-related Civil Society
Organizations (CSO) appointed by the President, on the recommendation of the Minister responsible for Environment; and the Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change, who shall be the Secretary. “
“The Bill also seeks for the establishment of a Secretariat to the National Council on Climate Change to be headed by a Director-General. It will also have six Zonal Coordinators for the six geo-political zones, and State Directors for the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory. The Secretariat shall be the Council’s administrative and technical arm and shall, on behalf of the Council, monitor efforts by public and private
entities to carry out their Climate Change responsibilities and report same to the Council and the National Assembly.
Development of a Carbon Budget for Nigeria, with the ultimate aim of attaining net-zero emission between 2050-2070. To achieve the Carbon
Budget, there will be yearly and five-yearly carbon reduction targets for private and public entities, as will be captured in the National Climate Change Action Plan.”
Setting up the Climate Change Fund to provide funding for attaining Nigeria’s Climate Change obligations.
Provision of checks and balances through oversight by the National Assembly, the Secretariat, and engagement with the public.
Provision for Climate Change education and awareness creation.
Provision for Nigeria to address Climate Change using nature-based solutions such as REDD+ (Reducing Emission from Deforestation and forest Degradation and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks), and Environmental-Economic Accounting.
Provision for the setting up of mechanisms for carbon emissions trading and carbon tax.
The Bill was first initiated in the 6th Assembly but suffered a major setback, but reintroduced in the 8th Assembly by Rep. Onuigbo and was passed but denied Presidential ascent due to some areas of concern from the Executive.
When Signed into Law, this piece of Legislation sponsored by Rep Samuel Onuigbo will put Nigeria at Par with other countries of the World like EU and help the present administration deliver on the Paris Agreement signed by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016.