By Sodiq Lawal
Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, has approved a work plan for the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC). The President stated this at the inaugural meeting of the council chaired by him. Along with Buhari are; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as Vice Chairman and the Director-General of NCCC, Dr. Salisu Dahiru, as Secretary, among other members. The President also approved the deployment of staff from key Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to the council, to ensure its effective take-off.
President Buhari had approved the proposed institutional arrangement or organogram for the council, as presented while responding to a number of requests by the Director-General of the council by ensuring a smooth take-off of NCCC.
The Nigerian leaders also approved the operationalisation of the office space to provide a conducive working environment for the council and the development of the Open Market Carbon Trading Framework and Infrastructure (Phase I) in collaboration with M-S Rosehill Group Limited.
At the meeting, the President approved that the Energy Transition Plan and Office be subsumed into the NCCC, to ensure continuity and sustainability of the initiative in accordance with the Climate Change Act, 2021. The President equally endorsed the council as the Designated National Authority for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the DG of NCCC as the UNFCCC National Focal Point in line with the Climate Change Act, 2021.
Commending the management for their dedication to duty, the President urged the team to work diligently toward finalising the National Climate Action Plan. He noted that the Plan would provide a sustainable framework for all climate-related activities in Nigeria and also provide the surest tool for engagement with the global community.
The President recalled that he had assented to the bill setting up the National Council on Climate Change, which was followed by the appointment of the Director-General and the subsequent inauguration of the council on the 28th of September, 2022.
“Today with this inaugural meeting, and in line with the objectives of the Act, also in tandem with my commitments both in Glasgow COP-26 in 2021 and Sharm el Sheikh COP-27 in 2022, we are stepping up commitments by considering the consolidated memorandum presented by the Director-General. Accordingly, I have examined the requests by the Director-General and have agreed to the general terms of the intent of the memorandum on the need to operationalise the Council. You will recall that during the inauguration of the council in September 2022, I gave directives for the amendment of the Act establishing the National Council on Climate Change, to include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Federal Ministry of Science & Technology and Innovation as members of council, also to reduce the number of offices across 36 states of the Federation to avoid bureaucracy and ensure a smooth and faster process in achieving the purpose of the organisation.
‘‘I also noted that the Act takes out state commissioners of environment as members of council because of their representatives. There is no transitional provision capturing the work of the Inter-Ministerial Working Group on Energy Transition. Furthermore, there is provision for the establishment of an Executive Management Structure at the Secretariat to support the Director-General in running the Council Secretariat, etc. I, however, note the update earlier presented by the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation on the amendment efforts and hereby direct the Attorney-General to liaise with the Honourable Minister of Environment to proceed on the amendment processes and report back to council’’, he said.
The Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, said with the steadfast support by the Nigerian President, the country is set
He thanked the President for his strong leadership of the Pan Africa Agency of the Great Green Wall (PAGGW), the Sahel and Sahara Initiative, the Climate Commission of the Sahel Region and the Lake Chad Basin Development Authority.
Dahiru, the Director-General of the council, while presenting the first memorandum of the agency that is leading Nigeria’s response to climate change, acquainted members on the need to operationalise the body.