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NASS moves to tackle oil spill, environmental challenges

The President, Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE), Nigeria, Senator Bukar Ibrahim, has said that plans are underway to enact or amend existing laws to tackle oil spill and other environmental challenges in the country.

Ibrahim, made this known at the third stakeholders meeting of GLOBE-United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP)-Global Environment Facility (GEF) Natural Capital Legislation Project on Thursday in Abuja.

Ibrahim, who is also Chairman Senate Committee on Ecology and Climate Change, said the legislature was poised to making contributions to tackling environmental problems bedevilling the country.

He said GLOBE is already meeting with major stakeholders in the environment sector to appraise current problems in order to have legislations that would better tackle them.

According to him, ‘‘there are laws already on ground regarding the environment but there are gaps and we will close those gaps.

“We are looking into amending and also enacting appropriate legislations to close the gap.

“Senators and members of the House of Representatives are well represented here. So, we will put heads together to ensure that is done,” he said.

Ibrahim explained that pending when appropriate laws were put in place, GLOBE would continue to work with relevant organisations to ensure a safe environment for all Nigerians.

“GLOBE is an international organisation and nations are using it to solve their environmental problems.

“The Great Green Wall, which is part of GLOBE, has for instance planted over three million trees in seven states of the federation; out of the 11 Front-line states they are meant to be working in.’’

The lawmaker commended UNEP, Federal Ministry of Environment, Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, National Agency of the Great Green Wall and Federal Ministry of Finance for their contributions.

He also commended the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Nigeria Conservation Foundation and Central Bank of Nigeria as well as National Bureau of Statistics.

The Vice President, GLOBE Nigeria, Representative Samuel Onuigbo, said the gaps in policies and laws regarding environmental challenges in the country needed to be closed.

In this vein “we are working on a bill and it is also a thing of joy to also say that a number of the presenters today were participants helping us to draft the bill on Climate Change.

“We are hopeful that before the end of next month we should have specific information on the status of the bill to know whether it has been assented to or whether we have to take any action.”

Onuigbo, who represents Ikwuano/Umuahia North/South of Abia State, said lawmakers had been working on budgeting to ensure that agencies of government accessed more funds to tackle environmental challenges.

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