Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu, has said that Africa was at the receiving end of the climate change menace, emphasising the need for the developed countries of the world to assist the continent in overcoming the challenges.
Kalu made the declaration while contributing to the general debate on the “Parliamentary action for peace, justice, and strong institutions (SDG 16)” at the Thursday session of the ongoing 147th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Luanda, Angola.
He recalled that the National Assembly passed the Climate Change Bill into law to ensure that global standards were met.
He said: “In response to the partnership for climate action, Nigeria passed the Climate Change Act meant to ensure that global standards are met. To live up to the spirit and letter of our dream on climate Change. Developed countries must come to the assistance of Africa who are at receiving end of Climate Change.”
Kalu also highlighted the contributions of the National Assembly of Nigeria towards building virile social institutions, promoting peace and justice as espoused in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 16).
“The National Assembly has also passed the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), which reformed the Nigerian oil and gas sector. The PIA is expected to promote transparency and accountability in the sector, strengthen the institutional framework, and attract investment.
“As a parliament representing the people, we devoted ample time in ensuring the improvement of our electoral act amended in 2022 to enable integrity of the electoral process through technology which has led to the reduction of post-election crisis.
“To ensure inclusion, the Nigerian parliament passed the Federal Character Commission Act for a better management of our diversity. This Legislation minimizes dominance and ensures nobody is left behind
“It is often said the justice delayed is justice denied. To ensure the speedy dispensation of Justice, the Nigerian Criminal Justice Act has and continues to be improved to ensure better access to justice.
“The National Assembly’s legislative contributions to peace, justice, and strong institutions have been significant. However, there is still more work to be done,” he said.
The Nigeria’s Deputy Speaker, who further stated that the country has experienced a number of challenges in recent years, including the insurgency in the North-East, environmental degradation and underdevelopment in the Niger Delta region, and agitations in the South-East, however, said that proactive steps have been taken for the enactment of North-East Development Commission, Niger Delta Development Commission with other bills such as the South-East Development Commission, which is a work in progress as a way of addressing the issues.
Decrying the violence in Sudan where the absence of self-counsel and wisdom has led to utter destruction of the nation and more recently, the avoidable devastation of lives and property in Ukraine, Israel and Gaza, Kalu urged the global leaders to find solutions rather than trading blames.
“And this, we must do. In addition, threats to democracy in Africa seen in recent coups in some African countries must be addressed especially the underlying causative factors,” Kalu stated.