The Former Deputy President of the Senate, Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Member of the Paris-based Climate Parliament, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, have said the proposed Green Grid remains Nigeria’s greatest takeaway from the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, as the country stood to benefit immensely from the energy superhighway.
The lawmaker who made this known through media adviser, Mr Uche Anichukwu where he stated while interacting with reporters that the sidelines of the Climate Conference holding in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.
“I think the greatest takeaway from this COP26 is the launch of the Green Grid because, for us as Africans, we see opportunity to contribute to world development and also to benefit thereof. With Green Grid energy superhighway, it is most likely that there will be energy sufficiency across the globe.
“So, I am happy also that Nigeria has indicated interest in being part of it. I am a member of the Climate Parliament. We deliberated on it and everybody was excited that Nigeria and Kenya in Africa are going to partner with the rest of the world, including the United States of America, to drive this initiative, which is going to be a mega revolution”.
Ekweremadu, regretted that Nigeria had not given the environment adequate attention in terms of funding as well as policy and legal frameworks. He however, expressed optimism that President Muhammadu Buhari would sign the Climate Change Bill already passed by the National Assembly to avail the country the needed quality legal framework to attract funds and better manage climate change.
“Nigeria has not shown sufficient interest and commitment in terms of budgetary provisions to the Ministry of Environment and its agencies as well as funding projects and policies in the environmental sector. So, COP26 is an opportunity for those of us here to attract investments, opportunities, and supports from our global partners and the international community to drive some of these initiatives because climate change is real.
“Before we can get funding or support, you must have the necessary and well-articulated legal framework for us to drive these policies. So, I am happy that we have been able to pass the Climate Change Bill, which is awaiting the President’s assent.
“Hopefully, the assent will be accelerated now that the President is here and saw what is happening in different parts of the world and he must have interacted with his colleague Heads of States and Governments.
“On our part as legislature, we are also going to put pressure on the executive to ensure immediate implementation, making sure that all the necessary agencies that have to be set up are established immediately so that they will be able to take off.
“We are many years behind as far as this environment and climate issues are concerned. Therefore, we need to fast-track the processes and policies to see some improvements in this sector”, he concluded