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Passage of Bill excites Nigeria’s Climate Change Champion

Hon. Sam Onuigbo

By Sunday Oyinloye

As the Climate Change Bill is about  to be transmitted to the Senate for concurrence, a member of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Hon. Sam Onuigbo is excited that the lower chamber has passed the Bill.

On Tuesday, July 6, 2021, during plenary at the House of Representatives, the report of the Review of the Climate Change Bill was considered and adopted, and just yesterday, the Bill was passed by the House

Onuigbo often referred to as Nigeria’s Climate Change Champion was the Chairman House Committee on Climate Change in the 8th Assembly.

The National Assembly member commended the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Femi Gbajabiamila for his leadership role in ensuring that the Bill was passed by the House.

Onuigbo who spoke with Green Savannah Diplomatic Cable said “Nigeria and the rest of the world face a huge existential challenge due to the impacts 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”

According to him “As experts have said, the situation is so bad that if urgent actions are not taken to reduce the volume of Greenhouse Gases in the atmosphere, the world as we know it will be completely destroyed in a matter of decades.

“It is this awareness of the danger of Climate Change that motivated me to sponsor the Climate Change Bill in the 8th Assembly. The objective was to ensure that Nigeria has a legal framework that will help guide her efforts at Climate Change mitigation and adaptation. Although the Bill was passed by NASS and duly transmitted to the President, he declined assent due to a number of reasons.

“In the 9th Assembly, with this clear conviction, I reviewed the Bill and re-sponsored it. There was however the need to ensure that attention was paid to those parts of the Bill that gave Mr. President concern.

“To be able to do this, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, His Excellency Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, adopted a coordinated and collaborative approach which involved the Honourable Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Honourable Abubakar Malami SAN, and the Ministry of Environment.

“Accordingly, these ministries nominated representatives to join the Joint Review Committee to work with me to address the issues raised by Mr. President, while also making the Bill more robust and futuristic. We went to work and came up with a reviewed copy of the Bill.

“I am really grateful to the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, the leadership and members of the National Assembly, the Clerk of the House of Representatives and his staff for working relentlessly on this, the Honourable Minister of Justice, the Minister of Environment and the Minister of State for Environment, for the support and leadership they have shown.

“In the same vein, I thank the Ministry of Environment for not only sending representatives to help with the work, but also for setting up a Legal Working Group whose inputs have been incorporated into the Bill.

“Again, special appreciation also goes to Climate Parliament for their support. I must also thank especially all members of GLOBE Nigeria and Climate Parliament Nigeria for the support and leadership they have continued to exercise on all issues concerning the wellbeing of our planet and sustainable development.

“I commend the media and all Climate Change activists in Nigeria and abroad who relentlessly drummed up support for Nigeria to have a Climate Change Law. Without you, we would not have had the backing of a critical mass that encouraged us to continue to push” he said

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