Bills On Climate Change, Food Security Pass Second Reading In Senate | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Bills On Climate Change, Food Security Pass Second Reading In Senate

Posted: May 4, 2016 at 5:08 am   /   by   /   comments (0)
Rotimi Akinwumi
The Senate on Tuesday passed for second reading bills seeking for measures at addressing the negative impacts of global warming or climate change in Nigeria and potential hunger in the land.
The bills treated separately were sponsored by Senator Issa Hamma Misau ( APC Bauchi Central) and Thedore Orji (PDP Abia Central).
In his lead debate on the Climate Change and Global Greenhouse Emission Reduction Bill 2015, Misau said the bill seeks to address climate change with a view to assisting the achievement of a sustainable future for the country.
He said, “Climate change is a consequence of global warming. It is essentially an ecological reaction to the gradual increase in the earth surface temperature which has in recent times, resulted in incidence of hotter summers, severe snow storms, increasing flooding, remarkable shift in the traditional weather pattern and growing climate uncertainty and unpredictability.”
He explained that since climate change resulting from global warming is generally believed to be man- made, there is need for man-made solution to it as well through reduction of global Greenhouse emissions.
Nigeria, according to him, is a major producer of fossil fuel (petroleum and coal) and a study commissioned by the World Bank in 2007 indicated that Nigeria accounted for roughly one sixth of the worldwide gas flaring which in turn spews some 400 million tons of carbon dioxide, one of the greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
He therefore submitted that the bill essentially provides the legislative framework for an articulate and concerted response to challenge of global warming.
“Climate change is a challenge we must all respond to. The reality is that climate change has huge socio- cultural and economic consequences and effort must be made to respond to it. The bill is a bold attempt at preparing the country for the unpleasant consequences of climate change,” he added
Virtually all the Senators who contributed to the debate supported it, and it was passed for second reading with a remark from Dr. Bukola Saraki, the Senate President, that the bill was long overdue and that it wouls go a long way in addressing challenges of climate change in the country.
Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, has been assigned to make further legislative input into the bill within the next four weeks.
Senator Theodore Orji in his lead debate on the Food Security Bill  submitted that Nigeria was one of the few countries of the world that has no legal framework for food security, hence, there was no accessibility to quality and adequate food security by Nigerians, noting that the bill, if passed, would compel government to provide quality food as part of its primary responsibilities.
He posited that the bill entitled, “A Bill for an Act to make provisions for freedom from hunger and the right to adequate food of acceptance quality, the right of every child to basic nutrition and for connected purposes. It would provide framework for co-ordinated food programmes through government policies, such that children, and pregnant women would access food security as of right.”
Contributing, Senator David Jonah Jang representing Plateau North, decried Federal Government’s non- chalant attitude to agriculture, stressing that if nothing was done as quickly as possible, Nigerians would be faced with famine.
Jang explained that there no kind of foods that cannot be produced in Niger, while calling for a co-ordinated effort by government to make sure that food produced through agriculture were processed for consumption.
“Mr. President, Distinguished Colleagues, Nigeria has never taken food security seriously in the past, and this bill seeks to make sure that foods produced by farmers were processed for consumption,” he noted.
Sam Egwu on his part regretted that private investors were currently losing their investments for lack of proper legal framework that would support their effort.
He pointed that the Nigeria Agricultural Reinsurance Company has abdicated from its responsibilities in mitigating losses of farmers thereby further frustrating the effort of farmers.
“Distinguished Colleagues, in Ebonyi State currently, those who invested in agriculture in recent years were incurring losses and the Agricultural insurance companies were not helping matters,” he added.
After various contributions in favour of the bill, Senate President, Bukola Saraki commended the sponsor of the bill and foresight of Senators, while referring the bill to the Committee on Agriculture for further legislative input.