Reps, stakeholders want legal framework on climate change

Dogara promises passage of ‘Not Too Young To Run Bill’

Members of House of Representatives and critical stakeholders in the environment sector have underscored the need for a proper legal frame-work to streamline policies, issues and responses arising from effects of climate change.

The lawmakers and the actors in the sector are also craving for the establishment of National Council on Climate Change in Nigeria.They expressed their determination yesterday at a public hearing on a bill for an act to provide a legal frame-work for the mainstreaming of climate change responses and actions into government policy formulation, implementation and establishment of the National Council on Climate Change and for other related matters organised by the House Committee on Climate Change, headed by Samuel Onuigbo.

Onuigbo said that the bill reinforced the medium term policy objectives contained in the Nigeria Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017-2020.He said: “The is Bill is the product of a deliberate effort by the Legislature to fill critical gaps in legislative mechanism and also reset our thoughts and actions to create the enabling environment for the public and the private sectors to collaborate in investing massively in ambitious climate change related projects like renewable energy and climate finance.”

Senate President Bukola Saraki, who spoke at the occasion, represented by Chairman, Senate Committee on Climate Change and Ecology, Bukar Abba Ibrahim, said despite that the previous sessions of the National Assembly had challenges in passing bills similar to the one being canvassed, there was increasing need to set up a body to mainstream issues of environment and climate in the country.

Saraki said that it behoves the current Eighth Assembly to ensure that the bill succeeds.In the same vein, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, represented by the Deputy Minority Whip, Pally Iriase, said the bill is “intended to lead to the establishment of National Climate Change Agency, National Council on Climate Change and Technical Advisory Committee and also position Nigeria among countries introducing legislations to support their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to mitigate the devastating effects of climate change.

Also, Dogara has given the assurance that “the Not Too Young To Run Bill” would be included in the Constitution Amendment Report.The Speaker gave the assurance at a plenary session following a clarification on the matter by the chairman of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Review of the Constitution/Deputy Speaker, Mr. Sulaimon Yussuf Lasun.

He, however, stated that the bill was not removed from the report, which will be considered next week, adding that the House would live up to the promise it made to do all within its powers to pass the Bill.

Meanwhile, some stakeholders queried the intentness of the bill.According to them, it was a duplication of portfolios and roles by functional government agencies.

In another development, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has been scheduled to preside over a town-hall meeting at a proposed environment summit in Abuja.Chairman, House Committee on Environment and Habitat, Obinna Chidioka, who spoke at the inauguration of a technical committee of the summit’s stakeholders at the House of Representatives wing of the National Assembly, said that the proposed national stakeholders’ summit on environment and legislative framework for environmental law and policy in Nigeria summit would take place between October 3 and 5, 2017 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

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