By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
The coordinator of the joint committee on the review of the climate change bill, Hon Samuel Onuigbo has said that the climate change bill would helped to address the security challenges the country is facing.
Hon Onuigbo said this yesterday during the joint committee meeting with members of the Ministry of Justice and environment which was approved by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila’s efforts at ensuring that Nigeria gets a legal framework for Climate Change has taken off to a great start in Abuja.
According to him, climate change has contributes for the security challenges that we are facing in the country today.
He said, “If you look at it from the Sahara region talking about all those Mali, Borkina Faso, Chad the whole of all those areas are almost not habitable now because of desertification, draught and accompany termites and those pushed away from those areas have embarked on forced migration and with that they are also creating conflict with the original people of where they are running to survive. So that has really increase the security challenges.
“You have seen that even the Herders have left their area because they do not have grass to feed their cattle, they left their areas and they are pushing to where they can farm their cattle. So if the climate change bill is pass into law some of these challenges will be address.”
Onuigbo stated that “Nigeria cannot achieve her ambitious commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC) without a solid legal base to guide her.” Neither can the country tackle the myriad issues such as security, health, and loss of livelihood means arising from the impacts of Climate Change.
Speaking during the event, the Director of Legal Drafting Department, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Ifunanya Nwajagu, stated that it was important to kickstart the review process by itemizing the reasons why the Bill was denied assent earlier by Mr. President, and then working together to ensure that those areas of conflict were restructured to ensure that the Bill comes alive, addresses all salient points and is assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari. This, she reiterated was important as it will guide the review process.
Earlier, Mrs. Helen Obayagbo, Director of Legal Services at the Ministry of Environment, had affirmed that Nigeria needs a Climate Change Bill. She however stated that it was important that in drawing up the Bill, attention must be paid to the ailment that the Bill seeks to cure and work assiduously towards providing an antidote.
The joint committee, which included representatives from the Ministries of Justice and Environment, Climate Change experts, and a member of the National Assembly has the joint mandate of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, His Excellency Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, the Honourable Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Hon. Abubakar Malami, and the Ministry of Environment, to review and ensure that Nigeria’s Climate Change Bill 2019 is passed and assented to before the end of the year.