Development partners pledge support for Reps’ summit on environment


The German and US governments as well as notable Development Partners and other stakeholders have expressed interest in participating in the three-day National Summit on Legislative framework for environmental law and policy initiated by the House of Representatives.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is expected to declare open the event slated for Tuesday, 3rd October 2017 to Thursday, 5th October, 2017 in Abuja.

According to Oracle Nwala, Coordinator of the Summit, the Wife of the Vice President, Dolapo Osinbajo will take a tour of the exhibition pavilion along with members of the Diplomatic Corps from the US embassy, Germany, World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB), European Union (EU), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), among others.

According to him, the German Ambassador to Nigeria, Bernhard Schlagheck, who obliged to chair the summit, said in response to the invitation sent to the Embassy: “We are most interested in the event as Germany is highly engaged in environmental issues.”

Nwala who assured that the logistics for the Summit are ready, further assured that the “Exhibition and Town Hall meeting will be held alongside the Summit to afford companies in the industry, policy makers, regulators and inventors the opportunity to validate their various interventions in enhancing the course of the environment as well as interact and network with Summit antendees, MDAs, international agencies and general public.”

On his part, Rachid Benmessaoud, World Bank’s Country Director for Nigeria, Africa Region, pledged the Bank’s technical support for achieving the set objectives.

Jean Bakole, UNIDO representative to ECOWAS & Regional Director, Nigeria Regional Office Hub in a letter to the Committee, applauded the intervention of the Committee which is in line with UNIDO’s mandate.

According to the UNIDO representative, the agency is “a specialized UN agency that promote industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability.”

The organizer also acknowledged YDO Yao, Director and representative of UNESCO regional office, Abuja, who commended the Committee’s “initiative of proposing this summit where you intend to overhaul the Nigerian legislative framework for environment. We anticipate that this effort will align with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which UNESCO is supporting member states like Nigeria, to achieve,” the letter read.

Obinna Chidoka, chairman, House Committee on Environment who underscored the importance of the Summit, emphasized the need to take proactive steps in developing appropriate environmental laws and policy for Nigeria considering its role in the comity of nations.

“We are very conscious of the grave threats posed by such issues as global warming, climate change, desertification, oil spillage, erosion, estate management and gas flaring, etc.

“In the context of the House Committee on Environment, we realize the importance of ensuring that our legislative framework on environment is robust and comprehensive to sustain a virile policy framework for the environment governance and management,” Chidoka stressed during an interactive session with members of Technical Committee.

 

KEHINDE AKINTOLA, BusinessDay

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