The member representing Ikwuano/Umuahia North and South Federal Constituency of Abia State, Samuel Onuigbo, is in a high-level discussion with the UK-PACT on how to implement the Climate Change Act 2021, Nigeria’s COP27 priorities, the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) implementation challenges, and opportunities in the country.
Speaking during a meeting held on Wednesday, August 10, 2022 in his Abuja office, he drew the attention of the team from London, and their counterparts from the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) to the ambitious nature of the Climate Change Act, stressing that religiously implementing it to the letter will not only help address Nigeria’s ecological challenges but also serve as a solid path towards a transition to a clean and sustainable economy.
The lawmaker pointed out that in order to ensure that the act has a strong bite; it stipulates that the President of Nigeria will chair the National Council on Climate Change with the Director General who heads the secretariat reporting directly to him.
On the proposed amendment of the act which is being rumoured, Onuigbo stated that there is no justifiable reason why implementation should be paused, adding that, at the same time, the amendment is pushed by just one Ministry amongst the several Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) that the act caters to, and charged the government to proceed with implementation.
The sponsor of the bill that is now Nigeria’s Climate Change Act used the opportunity to call on UK-PACT and the UK government to see what they can do in providing technical support and capacity building across the board so as to aid Nigeria in its efforts towards implementing the act.
“Nigeria received worldwide acclaim when President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law on November 17, 2021, the Climate Change Bill,” says Rep. Onuigbo. “It was one of the loudest messages of intent by the government following her lofty proclamation on November 2, 2021, at COP26 that Nigeria will attain net zero GHG emissions by 2060.”
He hinted that the climate change law with its provision for carbon budgeting and a National Action Plan to enforce the carbon budgets offers a clear path to attaining net zero.
On his part, the head of the team, Mr. Sean Melbourne, who is the West Africa Climate Change lead, FCDO Nigeria, stated that climate change cannot wait for anyone, hence there is a need for urgent action.
Mr. Melbourne revealed that the UK government has some plans to work with stakeholders to ensure that Nigeria’s climate action efforts go on unimpeded, emphasising that mainstreaming climate change action into national policy is critical.
Earlier in his speech, Joe Tyrrell, UK PACT lead, FCDO London, provided a brief on the origin of UK-PACT and its commitment to partnering with countries like Nigeria by providing funding to address climate change crises.
He disclosed that the UK-PACT programme also provides training and technical support through its Skills Share programme to enable countries to tackle the environmental problems bedeviling the world.
By Etta Michael Bisong, Abuja