House of RepresentativesHouse of Representatives committee on Environment and Habitat yesterday gave federal government a six-week ultimatum to forward all treaties and agreements relating to the environment sector and awaiting domestication to the lower legislative chamber for immediate action.
The committee headed by Hon. Obinna Chidoka is worried that certain decisions and actions in the environment sector are being delayed due to perceived unwillingness of the government in adapting global pacts that have been reached to the environment.
He said the government cannot claim ignorance of these agreements, as well as conventions and protocols because her signatures are appended on them.
At a valedictory session with outgoing Minister of Environment, Mrs Amina Mohammed, who has been appointed United Nation’s Deputy, Chidoka said it was inexplicable that the government could be avoiding domestication of the global agreements at a time nations are calling for international collaboration in fostering development.
“I challenge the ministry and the agencies to come up with the relevant amendments to its laws.
“The committee promises to expedite action on these amendments in order to enhance your efficiency and effectiveness.
“Likewise, the committee hereby directs the ministry to forward the necessary outstanding conventions, treaties, agreements and protocols to the House of Representatives through the committee for domestication.
“All these draft bills should reach the committee within six weeks from now. It’s time to walk the talk,” he said.
While commending Mrs Mohammed for her efforts in driving the environment sector within the over one year on the saddle, Chidoka promised to ensure that her successor would leverage on the achievements.
He revealed that in the coming weeks, the committee intends to investigate incidences of black soot and pollution of canals and creeks in parts of Niger Delta region.
He added that the committee is also planning to halt what he described as massive logging of woods, mainly in northern parts of the country and examining issues of solid wastes in regards to non bio degradable wastes, such as plastics and polythene bags that are littering the environment.
Chidoka assured further that the committee also plans to investigate alleged proliferation of illegal refineries in Niger Delta and abysmal performance of internally generated revenue profile of the ministry and its agencies.
In her response, the outgoing minister thanked the committee for its support, especially in the enhancement of the ministry’s yearly budgetary appropriations and spending and promised to draw in international interest and supports in the country’s efforts to protect the environment.