As the National Council on Environment opened on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 in Abuja, the Minister of State for Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor, has appealed to the National Assembly to speed up action on passing the Bill on Climate Change into law. The bill, she said, has already passed second reading on the floor of the House.
Ikeazor said this has become necessary to have a legal instrument that would address the myriads of climate change actions and challenges in the country.
Declaring the three-day Council open, the Minister applauded the resilience of the critical stakeholders during this trying period of Covid-19 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 we fail to act 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 three-day event towards finding lasting solutions to the multifaceted environmental challenges confronting the nation that include biodiversity loss, climate change and Covid-19 pandemic.
Welcoming delegates to the 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 be due to the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic.
Enitan said that was why the Council had to be postponed and subsequently repackaged to accommodate the virtual option in a bid to ensure strict compliance with Covid-19 public health and safety protocols.
“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.
In a goodwill message on behalf of the Senate Committee on Environment, Senator Michael Nnachi called for the involvement of more non-governmental organisations in the ministry’s activities as most of its activities are grassroots oriented that require a lot of mobilisation and enlightenment.
He said the Senate is very much aware of the lean envelope of the Ministry despite its enormous responsibilities, and therefore assured that positive reviews are being made to facilitate and boost its funding windows.
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, according to him, would ensure a seamless access to climate service information for the benefit of all.