Ekweremadu identifies poor funding as major challenge to tackling Environmental issues

FORMER Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu has said paucity of funds poses major challenge to addressing environmental issues in Nigeria.

Ekweremadu who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment noted that the high cost of clean energy technologies remained a major impediment to their use in the country.

He, however expressed the readiness of the National Assembly to partner the parliament and government of Britain to combat environmental challenges, including climate change.

Ekweremadu who spoke in Abuja when he received the Head of Climate Change and Energy, West Africa, British High Commission, Sean Melbourne, noted that the enormity of challenges the nation grappled with meant that the budgetary allocation for the environment was perennially low.

He called for international support to enable Nigeria to make substantial progress.

He said, “The commitment of the Nigerian government to addressing the myriads of environmental challenges is not in doubt. However, funding has been a major challenge. Budgetary provisions would never be enough, given the enormity of the challenges Nigeria is already grappling within various other areas.

“There are also issues of policy, enlightenment, national consciousness, and capacity building.

“However, environmental issues are global, hence the need for global cooperation because no country is isolated. What affects one country virtually impacts the rest of the world directly or indirectly.

“Therefore, we are eager to learn, eager to work, and eager to collaborate with the Government of Britain and the rest of the international community in a mutually beneficial partnership to make our environment safer for us and the future generations.”

He also expressed the willingness of the National Assembly to partner with the parliament of the United Kingdom through exchanges to build the requisite legislative capacity and share legal ideas on legal frameworks on environmental issues.

He said, “We are also strong believers in parliamentary diplomacy. And it is important we partner at the level of parliament to parliament, government to government, for the mutual benefit of our peoples and the world.”

Speaking earlier, Mr. Melbourne who expressed the readiness of the British government to work with Nigeria to address environmental challenges, said that Nigeria, given her size, should be able to tap into global resources for addressing environmental challenges.

He added that the UK would be hosting the 26th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26), United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 and would therefore relate further with the Committee and the Nigerian government on the event in the days ahead, stressing that the country’s full participation would add to the success of the summit, being a very important country in Africa.

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