Law to Make Multinationals Accountable to Environmental Hazards Underway

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• NIRSAL launches tree planting initiative

James Emejo in Abuja
The National Assembly is currently working to effect drastic changes on existing legislations to make multinational oil firms, guilty of absolute disregard for environmental safety in their operations to be more accountable.

This is as the Nigeria Incentive Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) has unveiled a project on “Greening the Cities (GTC)” in line with its mandate to enable the provision of renewable energy for agriculture and the adoption of Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA).

The GTC Initiative, launched in partnership with the GreenEarth Consults and other stakeholders as part of the 2017 World Earth Day campaign, was conceived as part of NIRSAL’s corporate social responsibility in trying to raise awareness as well as address problems associated with climate change.

The unveiling of the greening project came on a day the Chairman, House Committee on Environment and Habitat, Hon. Chidoka Obinna said the National Assembly is currently working to effect drastic changes to existing legislations to make multinational oil firms, which are guilty of absolute disregard for environmental safety in their operations to be more accountable.

Speaking at the launch of the project in Abuja, he said efforts are ongoing towards tightening noose around the operations of oil companies as well as rejig redundant precolonial laws on multinational oil activities to reflect present realities particularly in the areas of payment of fines.

Gas flaring and oil spillage are regarded as highest environmental pollutants in oil producing regions in the country while desertification and desert encroachment are serious environmental issues in northern parts of the country.
However, about 192 countries across the globe are participating in this year’s campaign.

Essentially, NIRSAL and its partners under the GTC project will collaborate with selected Primary schools across the country to effectively transfer knowledge and skills that will promote Environmental and Climate Literacy across the country.
The Managing Director of NIRSAL, Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed said the initiative will involve NIRSAL support for school children between the ages of 4-14 years in all state capitals in the country to learn sustainable tree planting skills within the context of climate change and agriculture.

Specifically, he said about 1000 trees will be planted in the first phase 1 of the pilot across six state capitals in each of the geo-political zones of the country.
Also, an incentive-based system will be worked out to reward outstanding Child Tree Custodians to be funded by NIRSAL.
It is expected that the measuring and communication of the mitigating impacts of these activities will also be a key outcome.
Furthermore, these children would be trained and equipped to be child custodians of these trees in major selected “Green Streets” in each state capital.

He said: “At NIRSAL, we recognise that environmental and climate literacy will be vital in ensuring that our farmers, partners and stakeholders adopt the Climate Smart Approaches to agriculture in ensuring food security, economic empowerment, mitigating against climate change, gender and social inclusion among others.”