By Grace Alegba
Lagos – The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) on Friday called for the speedy passage of the Climate Change Act to keep Nigeria safe from the predicted doom of effects of climate change.
NCF’s Director-General, Dr Muhtari Aminu-Kano, made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos in line with strike by students in over 92 countries.
NAN reports that the students are skipping school today, March 15, as part of the “School Strike 4 Climate’’ to demand action on climate change from policy makers.
Aminu-Kano commended various efforts of the Federal Government towards addressing the issue in Nigeria but added that the interventions were not good enough without an enabling law to drive the agenda more positively.
“The climate change bill is not yet a law and also the sense of urgency and emergency that the issue requires is not really palpable in the country.
“As environmentalists, we do not see that sense of urgency and emergency about the issue from all levels of government.
“What we think the government should do differently is first of all pass and sign the Climate Change Act because that provides the enabling legislation for things to happen in the government.
“Second of all, push this sense of urgency that is required in order to address the issue properly and then finally, government should recognise that this issue is beyond them, there should be a massive mobilisation of everybody.
“It needs the private sector to be engaged and involved, it needs the citizenry, the public, mass mobilisation of people because it is a serious issue,’’ he told NAN on telephone.
He appealed to the 8th National Assembly to pass the bill and lobby the executive arm of government to sign it into law to save time and the nation’s environment.
Aminu-Kano said that the foundation was supporting various school environmental campaigns and had assured students in Nigeria that there was no need for strikes but to forge ahead for the success of existing policies.
The director-general said that NCF was working with schools to ensure school curriculum captured issues of climate change as well as build the young minds to solving the problems.
He added that the organisers of the strike were holding 12,000 events around the world and three of the events were in Nigeria in three cities namely, Lagos, Abuja and Nsukka to drive agenda for the actualisation of policies on climate change.
“It is not surprising that children around the world would form a movement to draw attention to climate change because these children have been seeing reports, have been taught in school that if we do not do anything on climate change, within the next 12 years or we do not round up what we are doing, then calamity is going to fall on the world.
“Leaders are not seeing that sense of urgency that the scientists are telling us the need to consider.
“The children are asking themselves that why are we preparing for future when there may be no future at all for any of us.
“If world predictions on climate change come, then we are in an existential situation, calamity is going to fall on all of us,’’ he said.
Aminu-Kano said that the foundation had several events lined up for 2019 to protect, restore and preserve the environment.