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Onuigbo gets Leadership Award in Climate Change, urges Nigerians to embrace act

By Chijioke Iremeka
19 February 2022   |   2:49 am
A member of House of Representatives representing Ikwuano/Umuahia North/Umuahia South Federal Constituency of Abia State, Sam Onuigbo, has urged Nigerians to get their hands

Sam Onuigbo receives an award in recognition of his efforts towards enacting the Climate Change Act and ensuring that Nigeria meets its climate change mitigation and adaptation goals.

A member of the House of Representatives representing Ikwuano/Umuahia North/Umuahia South Federal Constituency of Abia State, Sam Onuigbo, has urged Nigerians to get their hands on the Climate Change Act in order to know their responsibilities as citizens in tackling climate change in the country.

Onuigbo, who was rewarded with ‘Leadership Award in Climate Change’ in recognition of his efforts towards enacting the Act and ensuring that Nigeria meets its climate change mitigation and adaptation goals, said the Act provides for the mainstreaming of actions on climate change.

Speaking during the first Southeast Climate Change Summit held at the Centre for Climate Change, Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Awka, Anambra State, he stated that the Act provides for the setting up of the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC) to be headed by the President Muhammadu Buhari.

The members of the NCCC include Ministers, Chairman of the Governors Forum, President of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, National Security Adviser (NSA), representatives of the private sector, women, youths, civil society organisations and persons living with disabilities.

According to Onuigbo, the idea behind this was to have a broad representation with the decision-making being domiciled at the highest level due to the importance of climate change.

He said: “There are also provisions for the development of a carbon budget for Nigeria with the aim of attaining net zero emission between 2050-2070; establishment of the Climate Change Fund and provision of checks and balances through oversight by the National Assembly and the people having access to information in order to interrogate, where necessary, efforts being made.”

“Others include provisions for climate education; setting up of mechanisms for carbon emissions trading and carbon tax; provision of support for research and scientific innovations and provisions for Nigeria to address climate change using nature-based solutions and many more.”

Onuigbo added that what was more critical “is the fact that the law we enacted is one that addresses a key issue, which poses an existential threat to all of mankind.”

He added: “While some of us may not know it, the overarching impacts of climate change are daily faced by us even in Nigeria. From the many gully erosions that litter the Southeast, through the floods, coastal erosions in the South-South and even some parts of the Southeast including Anambra State, to desertification in the North and the corresponding security issues, to extreme heat and irregular rainfall, before our very eyes, the world as we know it is changing and bringing with it massive loss of livelihood and increased health challenges.

“With over US$14.5 trillion divested from fossil fuel, and many countries committing fully to transiting to net zero greenhouse gases emissions in the nearest future, the economic future of countries still dependent on fossil fuel for revenue is seriously being threatened as such countries face the risk of being left with stranded critical assets.

“But this is no cause for alarm as with this divestment comes increased investments in cleaner, greener and more sustainable energy sources. The potentialities for more jobs from this sector are immense with tens of millions of new job opportunities becoming available for the people.

“That way, our efforts at combating climate change and preserving our environment for our children do not only help preserve our environment and the future, these efforts also address our massive unemployment issues as a country.”