Ecology Project Office needs to prioritize life-threatening disasters - Akpabio

Ecology Project Office needs to prioritize life-threatening disasters – Akpabio

Senate President Godswill Akpabio has called on the Federal Government to redirect environmental funds to tackle life-threatening environmental issues.

Mr. Akpabio gave the advice on Thursday when the Permanent Secretary of the Environmental Projects Secretariat, Malam Ibrahim Shehu Ibrahim, led officials of the agency in a dialogue session with the Senate leadership.

Mr. Akpabio reacted against the submission of the Permanent Secretary-General, saying the monthly allocation of N3 billion to the Secretariat was totally inadequate to deal with the requests coming in on a daily basis.

Ibrahim told Senate leadership that the agency is currently aware of more than 5,000 requests for emergency response from disaster-hit communities across the country.

Mr Akpabio responded by calling on authorities to prioritize intervention.

He cited the example of the storm surge currently hitting five states in southern Nigeria and the massive desert erosion in the Lake Chad basin.

Mr. Akpabio promised that the Senate would take necessary legislative measures to support the proper functioning of the Ministry of Environment.

He said: “The method of project intervention and selection must be such that it places urgency outside of the normal data we work with.

“The Department of Ecology must address the most urgent situations that can affect people’s lives before addressing those that may not be life-threatening. must be selected.”

Mr. Akpabio also encouraged the office to learn how to prevent natural disasters before they occur.

He specifically called on the authorities to embark on a campaign to encourage Nigerians to plant at least one tree a year.

He said the current desert erosion in the north of the country shows that government agencies do not recognize the scale of the destruction.

“Every child should be encouraged to plant at least one tree a year. In areas hardest hit by desert encroachment, people should be encouraged to plant one tree a month. need to do it.

“Given Nigeria’s population, that would give us back a lot of land to deal with the looming disaster. The same climate change is also impacting the Lake Chad basin, where about 10 years ago, 125 It once had a square kilometer of water, but is now less than half its original area.

“As a result, migration has occurred, and people who previously made their living on Lake Chad have had to move south. The lake has shrunk to the point where it may or may not contain up to 15 square kilometers of water. It currently affects about five countries.”

The Senate President said the situation was a major problem that was currently exacerbating Nigeria’s security challenges.

“Pastoralists who were used to taking their cattle to the Lake Chad basin for grazing and water now have to move south,” he said.

“In the process, they will pass through farmland, and farmers will resist having their crops destroyed. This development has forced pastoralists to arm themselves to protect their cattle from attack. .”

Mr. Akpabio added: “Your suggestion that we may need international support and sponsorship, and even assistance from international organizations, resonates with me, which is why I recently became a member of the Executive Committee of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. That’s why it was selected.

“We found that within that organization itself, there is a budget through Congress to intervene in countries on environmental issues and climate change, which is about $30 billion.

“We are going to let them know that this is the place for Nigeria to intervene. Cameroon’s dams are opened every year. Usually when a large amount of water enters, a lot of land disappears, including most of the highlands of Bayelsa, and homes are destroyed. will be washed away.

“From Ondo to Akwa Ibom, most villages do not exist during the rainy season and when the dams undergo annual maintenance. Most people have to leave their villages for six months and the remaining Look for a place to hide for 6 months. In Bayelsa, you will be surprised that even without war, internal displacement occurs as a result of climate change. Whatever we can do, you can do even more. I intend to help them do that.”


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