From Okwe Obi, Abuja
A federal lawmaker representing Ikwuano/Umuahia North/South Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Sam Onuigbo, has advocated the enactment of a Climate Change Bill, saying it would address national security and public health concerns in Nigeria.
Onuigbo, who doubles as Coordinator of the Joint Committee on the review of the bill, explained that Climate Change has contributed in widening the gap of security in the country.
Speaking in Abuja during the joint committee meeting with members drawn from the ministries of Justice and Environment, the representative added that the bill was approved by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to ensure that Nigeria gets a legal framework for Climate Change.
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,’ he said.
‘You have seen that even the herders have left their areas 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 passed into law some of these challenges would be addressed.’
He added that Nigeria cannot achieve its 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.x
Meanwhile, the Director of Legal Drafting Department, Ministry of Justice, Ifunanya Nwajagu, stated that it was important to kickstart the review process by itemizing the reasons 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.
In addition, Director of Legal Services, Ministry of Environment, Helen Obayagbo, said in drawing up the Bill, attention should be paid to the ailment that the Bill seeks to cure and work assiduously towards providing an antidote.