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Climate Change Act is one of most impactful legislation in Nigeria – Gbajabiamila

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Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, on Wednesday said that the Climate Change Act is one of those life-changing legislation that can affect the lives of all Nigerians.

The law recently signed by President Muhamadu Buhari provides an overarching legal framework for achieving Nigeria’s long-term climate goals including a net-zero carbon emission target, national climate resilience, an adequate volume of climate finance, and the mainstreaming of climate change actions into national development priorities.

Gbajabiamila who reiterated the impact of the legislation at the presentation of an award to the sponsor of the bill, Sam Onuigbo from Abia State by the House of Representatives Press Corps commended the lawmaker for his doggedness in the passage of the bill.

Gbajabiamila said: “There are bills and there are bills. I have always said it’s not the number of bills but the quality of bills that are passed. The Climate Change bill is one of those bills that on the face of it nobody bothers to even try to understand but on closer examination and a proper understanding of what it entails, it is perhaps one of those life-changing bills, one of those bills that can affect each one of us for life.

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“Hon Sam has been so passionate and committed and consistent in the pursuit of having this bill signed into law. His doggedness, his determination to make sure he sees the bill from the beginning to the very end has earned my respect in no small measure.

“He has done so much on the floor of the house since I have known him over years, but if this is the one bill that is his legacy in the National Assembly, then it is one bill that will perhaps surpass generations yet to come,” Gbajabiamila said.

On his part, Onuigbo underscored the importance of the act and its impact on Nigeria’s ecosystem and expressed appreciation to President Buhari for assenting to the bill to become a law.

He said: “The journey to Nigeria getting a climate change act was a long and tortuous one. I am happy that today, we have a climate change act that will guide Nigeria in her decarbonation efforts ensure that we justly transit to net zero, bring requisite attention to the menace of climate change, provide funding for adaptation and mitigation measures including nature-based solutions, create employment for the teeming youth, help us on our journey towards green recovery, and ultimately ensure that we sustainably develop while preserving this earth for our children.

“It was not a one-man show. The exceptional leadership and commitment shown by the leadership of the National Assembly especially the Speaker of the House of Representatives, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, who not only constituted (and also caused the Ministries of Justice and Environment to send in their representatives) a review committee to identify and address the areas of contention that made President Buhari and former Presidents deny assent to the Bill in the 8th, 7th and 6th Assemblies, but also followed up to ensure that expedited passage was effected at the House and the Senate.”

In his remarks, a representative from the United States Embassy, Jackson Smith said climate change was a global issue and commended the National Assembly’s efforts in tackling the challenge in the interest of the future of Nigeria.