Sustainable Initiative for Nurturing Growth (SING) Nigeria commends President Mohammed Buhari for signing the Climate Change bill 2021 into law, which according to the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media and Publicity), Garba Shehu, provides for, “among other things, the mainstreaming of climate change actions and the establishment of a National Council on Climate Change”.
The signing of the bill which is coming on the heels of the President’s participation and commitment at the just concluded United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, in Glasgow, UK where he stated that Nigeria will cut its carbon emission to net-zero by 2060, is a step in the right direction.
This Act comes as the nation’s response to the growing concerns on climate change requiring urgent stakeholders’ actions, would rightly pave the way for “environmental and economic accounting and a push for a net zero emission deadline plan in the country”, as stated in Garba’s statement.
As an organisation, working to ensure climate justice and resource governance, with intervention programmes and advocacies in the Niger Delta region to end gas flaring and oil spillages, we call for the full implementation and interpretation of the content of the Act, including the nation’s commitment to the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
The harsh realities of human induced actions on the environment are here with us. To mark this year’s World Environment Day, our advocacy campaign to some oil producing communities revealed for the umpteenth time that local people are indeed at the receiving end of gas flaring and oil spillage activities by multinational oil companies. We indeed recalled the words of His Royal Majesty, King Bubaraye Dakolo (JP), Agada IV, Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama Kingdom who submitted that; “the last part of all of these is that 70 years of oil and gas in this part of the world has largely underdeveloped the people, mis-educated the people and deceived observers out there, that they do not even know to what level the people here have ceased to be what they ought to be and what they used to be.”
Desertification, drought, pollution, and irregular rainfall and more are direct effects of climate change that have become our realities. We strongly hope that the signed law would expedite national actions to combat climate change.
As an organisation, we will continue to support government and stakeholders’ efforts at fighting climate change, and our position is that the government must indeed begin plans to diversify away from fossil fuel, while also supporting sustainable solutions for a green future.
For: SING Nigeria