This Day (Lagos)

8 November 2012

Nigeria: FG Seeks Legislative Support for Green Economy

The Minister of Environment, Mrs. Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafia, Wednesday advocated a collaboration between the executive and the legislature for Nigeria to achieve a shift towards developing a green economy in line with global trends.

The advocacy came same day the House passed through the second reading stage a bill seeking to amend the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency Act 2006. The amendment being sought, would strengthen the law and empower the agency to checkmate the activities of multinational oil firms whose operations have resulted in frequent oil spills and posed serious threat to the environment in the Niger Delta.

Mailafia who spoke at a one-day parliamentary dialogue on pursuing a legislative agenda to enhance Nigeria's green growth, said Nigeria needed to embrace the global phenomenon of Green Growth by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases in all her developmental pursuits and refocusing on strategies geared towards protecting the environment and eco-system.

She noted that climate change as currently manifested globally had the potential of adversely impacting not only on the environment, but also on human health, food security, natural resources, physical infrastructure as well as the overall economy.

The minister sought the collaboration of the lawmakers in the task of establishing a policy framework to guide the actualisation of the green economy.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, who declared the dialogue open, noted that unless Nigerians treated the environment rightly, the country was likely going to face more natural disasters with adverse repercussions on all strata of life of the people.

Tambuwal charged the participants to take advantage of the workshop to develop a blueprint that will educate the legislature on the issues of global warming and green economy in order to equip them adequately in providing an appropriate legislation on the issue.

Chairman, House Committee on Climate Change, Hon. Eziuche Ubani, called for more transparence in the management of information and counter strategies on climate change, noting that despite the early warning on the effects of the phenomenon, the Nigerian government still tried to attribute the recent floods that ravaged many parts of the country to other reasons rather than the real cause, Climate Change.

Ubani expressed concern that the executive arm of government was yet to place due emphasis on the issue of climate change years after the rest of the world had set in motion the necessary tools to combat its adverse impacts on the environment and human lives.

Ubani said for climate change issues to be on the front burner of national discourse, it must be embraced as a policy at the highest level of governance in the country.

"Taking an overview of green economy initiatives for Nigeria, one will notice current neglect for sustainable environmental practices, climate change effects and lack of co-ordinated intervention practices, oil spillages, illegal bunkering activities, equipment failures , oil and gas production activities, gas flaring and deforestation. One also noticed the absence of networking, advocacy, general consciousness, absence of regulatory framework and sustained monitoring and evaluation," Ubani said.

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