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Senate positive on bill to curb environment problems

06 May 2015, 20:02

Abuja - A Bill for an Act to establish the National Agency for the Great Green Wall has passed second reading at the Senate.

The bill seeks to establish the National Agency for the Great Green Wall for the implementation of the provisions of the convention on the Great Green Wall programme in Nigeria, management of drought, desertification and afforestation control measures and related matters.

Leading the debate on the bill on Wednesday, the Senate leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, said if passed into law will help safeguard the environment, ensure food security, reduce unemployment and poverty, protect citizens in the affected parts from vagaries of weather, reduce strife and criminality, ensure sustainable livelihood and avert a major catastrophe in the near future.

Also read: Jonathan sends N299bn for 2015 NDDC budget to Senate 

He said desertification affected an area of about 393  168 square kilometers, which is about 43 percent of the total land area of Nigeria and thus called on all the Senators to support the bill for seconding reading and passage into law.

Senator Ali Ndume, in his contribution said drought was a frequent problem in the country. He said Nigeria was among the initiator of the Great Green Wall programme but the country has not established the Agency.

“President Goodluck Jonathan would be anxious to sign the bill into law before leaving the office this month,” Ndume said.

In his remark, the Senate President, David Mark, said anything that affected 43 percent of the total land area of Nigeria was a serious problem.

“It is a pity that the bill is coming late but it is an excellent bill wonderful,” Mark said.

He urged that when the bill was finally passed into law, its implementation should be taken seriously.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture for further legislative action.


- CAJ News

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