Climate Change Act 2021 @ 3: Salute to Hon. Samuel Onuigbo

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By Ayodele Thomas

The recent establishment of the Presidential Committee on Climate Action and Green Economic Solutions and the consequent appointment of Ajuri Ngelale as the Special Presidential Envoy on Climate Action, SPEC, have further signaled the good intention of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to make good his promise to ensure that the provisions of the Climate Change Act are fully implemented for the benefit of the entire nation.

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Thoughtfully, to expand his dedication and commitment to the working of the Climate Change Act, the President saddled the committee to play a leading role in coordinating and overseeing the country’s policies and programmes on climate action and green economic development locally and internationally.

While many public commentators and critical stakeholders in Climate Change Advocacy felt that the role assigned to SPEC somehow is in conflict with some of the provisions of the Climate Change Act signed into law in 2021 by former President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, one takeaway that seems to unite and excite everyone is that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has demonstrated courage to give meaning and life to climate-related and green economic matters in Nigeria.

There is therefore the assurance that President Tinubu will consider all the observations centered on bridging and harmonizing the implementation of all responsibilities of SPEC with the provisions of the Climate Change Act 2021.

To build the Nation’s capacity in this regard, it is expedient to explore more options to boost the country’s will power to effectively support Mr. President’s good intentions to ensure that policies and decisions on all climate change matters in Nigeria are well coordinated among the SPEC-Presidency, National Council on Climate Change, NCCC, ministries, departments, agencies, legislative, and sub-national entities and by so doing deliver on the country’s climate change targets.

And this requires that persons with notable contributions, experience, efforts, commitment and dedication to Climate Change related issues are integrated to meaningfully contribute to make these targets a reality.

Today, the most visible personality is the champion and lead advocate of Climate Change in the country, Honourable Samuel Onuigbo, the author and sponsor of the Nation’s Climate Change Act 2021 ratified and passed by the National Assembly in October 2021 and signed into law by former President Muhammadu Buhari.

We therefore use this privilege to pay tribute and honour to a man who has selflessly led the Nation’s advocacy actions towards mainstreaming climate change into national development plans and programmes, an astute advocate for the strengthening of relevant agencies concerned to formulate policies and programmes for climate change action.

He is, undoubtedly, the chief promoter of Climate Change project management, effective planning, documentation, research and effective monitoring, etc. It is on this good note that his giant strides and commitment to secure a space for Nigeria among the committee of serious Nation on Climate Change Action was given a huge recognition by the current National Assembly, especially the House of Representatives which respectfully inducted him into its Most Valuable Persons, MVP, hall of fame as the Nation’s Champion of Climate Change Advocacy.

We use this opportunity to enjoin all critical government stakeholders to tap into the resourcefulness of Honourable Samuel Onuigbo so as to ensure deepening of strategic understanding of climate diplomacy, climate policies and governance and by so doing make the Nation the leading country on Climate Change Action in Africa and beyond.

Congratulations to Honorable Samuel Onuigbo, adjudged as one of 30 Global Climate Change Leaders.

Thomas is an Abuja-based public policy analyst.

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