President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a work plan for the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC).
The president conveyed his approval over the weekend while chairing the inaugural meeting of the council with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as vice chairman and the director-general of NCCC, Dr. Salisu Dahiru, as secretary, among other members.
Also, the president approved the deployment of staff from key ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to the council to ensure its effective take-off.
Responding to several requests by the director-general of the council on ensuring a smooth take-off and operationalisation of the council, Buhari approved the proposed institutional arrangement (organogramme) for the council as presented.
Also, he approved the operationalisation of the office space to provide a conducive working environment for the council and the development of the Open Market Carbon Trading Framework and Infrastructure (Phase I) in collaboration with M/S Rosehill Group Limited.
At the meeting, the president approved the subsuming of the energy transition plan and office into the NCCC to ensure the continuity and sustainability of the initiative under the Climate Change Act 2021.
Also, the president endorsed the council as the designated national authority for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the DG, NCCC as the UNFCCC national focal point, in line with the Climate Change Act 2021.
Commending the management for their dedication to duty, the president urged the team to work diligently toward finalising the National Climate Action Plan.
He further noted that the plan would provide a sustainable framework for all climate-related activities in Nigeria and also provide the surest tool for engagement with the global community.
The president recalled that he had assented to the Bill setting up the National Council on Climate Change, which was followed by the appointment of the director-general and subsequent inauguration of the council on September 28, 2022.
‘‘Today, with this inaugural meeting and in line with the objectives of the Act [and] in tandem with my commitments both in Glasgow COP 26 in 2021 and Sharm el Sheikh COP 27 in 2022, we are stepping up commitments by considering the consolidated memorandum presented by the director-general.
“Accordingly, I have examined the requests by the director-general and have agreed to the general terms of the intent of the memorandum on the need to operationalise the council.
“You will recall that during the inauguration of the council in September 2022, I gave directives for the amendment of the act establishing the National Council on Climate Change, to include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Federal Ministry of Science and Technology and Innovation as members of the council, also to reduce the number of offices across 36 states of the Federation to avoid bureaucracy, and ensure a smooth and faster process in achieving the purpose of the organisation.
“I also noted that the act takes out the state commissioners of environment as members of the council or their representatives. There is no transitional provision capturing the work of the Inter-Ministerial Working Group on Energy Transition.
“Furthermore, there is provision for the establishment of an executive management structure at the secretariat to support the director-general in running the council secretariat etc.
‘‘I, however, note the update earlier presented by the Attorney General of the Federation on the amendment efforts and hereby direct the Attorney General to liaise with the Minister of Environment to proceed on the amendment processes and report back to council,’’ he said.
The Minister of Environment, Barr. Mohammed Abdullahi said with the unflinching support of the president, Nigeria is set to take the lead on climate change issues, biodiversity, wildlife conservation and energy transition plan implementation in Africa in line with her commitments under the UNFCCC.
He thanked the president for his strong leadership of the Pan Africa Agency of the Great Green Wall (PAGGW), the Sahel and Sahara Initiative, Climate Commission of the Sahel Region (CCSR) and the Lake Chad Basin Development Authority.
A statement by the special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Femi Adesina said Dahiru, the director-general of the council, while presenting the first memorandum of the agency that is leading Nigeria’s response to climate change apprised members on the need to operationalise the body.
According to him, since the inauguration of the 23-member council by the president, the secretariat developed a draft institutional arrangement (organogramme) for the council, proposed vision and mission of the council, inclusion of the council in the 2023 National Budget and harmonised Nigeria’s response to climate change for COP27.
Among other actions, Dahiru said they have held discussions with the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Infrastructure Corporation of Nigeria Ltd (INFRACORP), Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and other relevant partners to ensure success.
‘‘The council has developed a proposed institutional organogramme with the director-general as the head/CEO of the secretariat and reports to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria – as the chairman of the council – and six directorates and different divisions for effective implementation of its mandates,’’ he said.