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Why Buhari should quickly assent to Climate Change Bill – Onuigbo

Hon. Sam Onuigbo

By Sunday Oyinloye

A National Assembly member, Sam Onuigbo has explained why Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari should quickly assent to the Climate Change Bill which he sponsored.

Speaking on the floor of the House, Onuigbo said since Nigeria would be participating at the COP26, it would be great if the President Assent to the Bill.

In his words: “Mr. President needs to assent to the Bill as quickly as possible, in view of COP26 which the President will be a part of. Nigeria participating in COP26 with a Climate Change Act will be the country’s loudest statement of ambition. “

The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow starting from 31 October – 12 November 2021. The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Going down the memory lane, the National Assembly member said President Buhari was one of the world leaders who in 2015 adopted the flagship global accord on Climate Change— the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

In view of this, Onuigbo explained that it would be glorious for the President to assent to the Bill before the commencement of the Climate Change Conference.

Speaking further on the Paris Agreement on Climate Change the lawmaker said “that action is now informally referred to as the “Promise of Paris”. Promise, because what was done was for countries and organizations to commit to ambitious targets that will help keep global temperature to 1.5 degrees post-industrial era.

“In 2021, a little over five years after the Promise of Paris, Climate Change conversations have shifted to clear-cut verifiable and ambitious actions to tackle Climate Change.

“The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari  has since his inaugural address on May 29,2015, shown commitment to tackle Climate Change. This, Mr. President has shown in his many assertions at Climate Change conferences and other international meetings. Mr. President has also gone further to show action by approving the revised National Climate Change Policy of Nigeria, this year.

“As legislators, it is our duty to complement the efforts of the executive through oversight, or by making laws that will help realize the goals and visions of Government. This was what gave birth to the Climate Change Bill which I sponsored.

“The Bill seeks to provide legal backing to Nigeria’s efforts to mainstream Climate Change actions into the country’s sustainable development plans. Thankfully, through the combined efforts of the legislature and the executive, the Bill was reviewed and on July 8, 2021, it was passed by the House of Representatives. Immediately afterwards, it went through First Reading at the Senate on July 14, 2021.  I am pleased that the Bill has today, October 13, 2021, been given concurrence by the Senate. It will now be transmitted to President Buhari for assent”.

He commended the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-agege, the Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami SAN, and Minister of State for Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor for what he called the leadership they have exercised in the journey to drive the Bill to the present stage.

“I also extend my sincere gratitude to my colleagues in the House for their support.  I would also like to acknowledge the contributions of my colleagues who are members of GLOBE Nigeria and Climate Parliament Nigeria and to commend them especially for the unrelenting support and commitment they have shown.

“My appreciation also goes to the Clerk of the National Assembly, Clerks of the Senate and the House of Representatives for their sense of awareness of the importance of this Bill, and consequently giving it the attention it required, the media, the international community especially the British High Commission, the US Embassy, Climate Parliament, my team, technical experts, young Nigerian climate activists, also deserve commendation for their relentless efforts to ensure that this important piece of legislation is passed and assented to” he said.

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