By Michael Olugbode
The Minister of State for Environment, Chief Sharon Ekeazor, has appealed to the National Assembly to speed up action on the passing into law of the bill on climate change.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of a three-day meeting on the National Council on Environment in Abuja yesterday, Ekeazor noted that the bill has already passed the second reading in House.
She said the passing of the bill into law has become necessary so as to have a legal instrument that would address the myriads of climate change actions and challenges in the country.
Declaring the three-day council meeting open, the minister applauded the resilience of the critical stakeholders during this trying period of COVID-19 pandemic.
According to her, “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 our country 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 topmost. This is why we are here.”
Ikeazor, 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 Nigeria, which include biodiversity loss, climate change and COVID-19 pandemic.
Welcoming delegates to the Council 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 due to the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.
Enitan stated that 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.