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Minister advocates speedy passage of climate change bill

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

Chief Ikeazor said this became necessary 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   the 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 the nation if adequate action was not taken 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  event towards finding lasting solutions to the multifaceted environmental challenges confronting the country, that include biodiversity loss, Climate Change and COVID-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 hold due to the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.

“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.” he said.

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.

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.

GODSON Elekwachi

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