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Climate Change: Delivering Objectives Of Act 2021 Without “Humongous Bureaucracy” – By Mardiyyah Omikunle   



Recent moves by President Buhari to implement Climate Change Act 2021, Nigeria’s framework law to deliver green growth for sustainable economic development, are rubbing against bureaucratic infighting over the form and composition of the implementing mechanism the National Climate Change Council (NCCC) and its secretariat. The NCCC is chaired by the President with broad participation from government and civil society, and is supported by a Secretariat headed by a Director General who is recommended by NCCC and appointed by the President. Because the NCCC is chaired by the President and Vice President and located within the presidency, it signals to the world that Nigeria is taking a whole-of-Government approach to low carbon development and is not merely delegating the issue to a line ministry. Recent pronouncements by the Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, questioned both the ‘humongous bureaucracy’ CCA created and the composition of the NCCC. Such doubts as COP 27 approaches, may be misinterpreted as sending mixed signals to development partners interested in supporting Nigeria’s energy transition.
Recently, the Minister vented his frustration at the unwieldy ‘humongous bureaucracy” of “state and zonal directors” in the NCCC’s secretariat. He went further adding that “membership of the council also inadvertently takes out commissioners of environment as members of the Climate Change Council. The secretariat has no directorates to support functions of the director-general, no transitional provisions in relation to functions of the department of climate change and the Climate Change Council.” The minister then announced that he had set up a technical review committee within the Ministry of Environment to initiate “amendments of the Act”.
An internal ministry of environment technical review committee to amend the Act is the classic bureaucratic response to a bureaucratic problem. The Act’s implementing structure appear designed to avoid capture by a single ministry and be nimble enough to respond to reform priorities across ministries departments and agencies and between the levels of government. While this may have drawbacks, the more pertinent question relating to structure and institutional transition is whether the NCCC and the secretariat can provide the framework for sustainable economic development achieved through low carbon means to occur across government and society. Here, the ministry of environment has specific inputs to make the climate diagnosis. The treatment plan or cure is actually provided by other stakeholders responsible for the policies, technologies and societal changes that make sustainable economic growth a reality. The treatment aspects of the CCA’s objectives and NCCC’s mandate involve inputs primarily from other agencies such as the petroleum, power, transport, water, works and housing sectors among others. The CCA and NCCC thus require a whole-of-government review, and not just a ministry of environment technical review.
While, the Minister and the ministry are understandably territorial about the CCA and NCCC, the NCCC is unlike other councils or committees superintending particular sectors as with say communications with the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC). The NCCC and its secretariat are crosscutting institutions that resemble the defunct Office of the Senior-Special-Assistant to the President on Millennium-Development-Goals (OSSAP-MDGs) and the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE). The BPE as secretariat to the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) closely resembles the NCCC and its secretariat. Both OSSAP-MDGs and BPE were created within the Presidency and operated on a whole-of-government premise rather than being hived-off from a parent-ministry – a kind of prodigal children as the Minister seems to think the NCCC and secretariat are.
It is worth mentioning that the pioneering Director-Generals or leaders of both OSSAP-MDGs and BPE had successful non-civil service professional and managerial careers and brought that private sector drive, energy, can-do spirit and organisational discipline to the new institution. They also possessed the requisite stakeholder management skills to navigate social and political interests across all levels of government. This does raise questions, given the vast all-encompassing and existential challenge climate change poses, whether the Minister sees the proverbial forest from the ministerial tree.
Seeing the forest from the ministerial tree generates the perspective needed to discern the internal inconsistencies in the Minister’s position. As it is difficult to reconcile the minister’s criticism of the CCA with his proud announcement, in the same breathe, “that just last week, Mr. President appointed the pioneer director-general of the National Climate Change Council.” If the deficiencies in the Act can prompt the minister to review and recommend amendments, why then announce the appointment of a Director-General when the CCA expressly says that such an appointment can only be made after the NCCC recommends a Director-General to the President? Such an appointment and announcement fits squarely into the problems the CCA has that the technical review committee should have also reviewed. It is even more irregular when the appointment is announced by the minister or the ministry rather than the Presidency, which usually announces such appointments. It is unclear whether the appointment has been announced by the President or presidency at all. These irregularities and inconsistencies will not have gone unnoticed by the international community, private sector investors and interested parties to Nigeria’s climate change objectives.
In the end raising issues about the CCA while making unconfirmed pronouncements on staffing this close to the 27th Conference of Parties (COP 27) in November in Egypt sends the signal that Nigeria is not ready politically, institutionally or policy-wise to receive the investment required to transition to a low carbon economy. This ultimately defeats the very objectives of the CCA.
If Nigeria is to achieve the objectives in the CCA, the Minister and Ministry of Environment will need to play their indispensable part by not going it alone, but by being in lock step with the entire government and people of Nigeria. We all go farther on the road to net zero when we go together.
Mardiyyah Omikunle, specialises in Energy Law and Climate Change, she writes from Lagos.

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Otunba Gbenga Daniel flags off free eye care programme in Ogun East




Otunba Gbenga Daniel

Senator Gbenga Daniel, representing Ogun East at the National Assembly, on Monday, 16th October, flagged off a free eye care programme for residents of his senatorial district.

Over a thousand people from the nine local government areas of Ogun East Senatorial District are scheduled to benefit from the first phase of the three-day programme which kicked off simultaneously at the Akarigbo Royal Hall, Ita-Oba, Sagamu and Imowo Hall, Ijebu Ode on Monday morning.

The programme medical outreach is also billed for other locations in Ijebu Igbo and Ogun Waterside on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.

This health initiative fully funded by Senator Daniel, a former governor of Ogun State, is coming barely three months after he similarly launched a multimillion-naira interest-free Microcredit Scheme for petty traders and artisans in the senatorial district.

The free eye care programme with the theme, “Elimination of avoidable blindness in Ogun East,” is organised by the Gateway Front Foundation (GFF) in collaboration with Eye Foundation Hospital.

Some of the services to be offered at the programme include free eye tests, free eye screening, free drugs and free medicated glasses.

Speaking ahead of the programme, Senator Daniel stated that it was consistent with his mission to advance humanitarian causes and make life more pleasant for the people of Ogun State.

He expressed hope that many more lives will be impacted through the health outreach and treatment of different cases of eye ailments.

According to him, good sight will enhance the mental and psychological well-being of his constituents and also improve their productivity.

Senator Daniel further restated his commitment to impactful legislation, responsive leadership and adequate representation towards bringing governance closer to the grassroots and deepening the dividends of democracy.

The lawmaker pointed out that he had already identified key areas requiring urgent legislative intervention and would specifically sponsor bills to address the strategic needs of people of the senatorial district.

While soliciting the continued support of his teeming constituents, he assured that he would use the National Assembly as a veritable platform to always promote their welfare.

Recall that the Gateway Front Foundation (GFF) was founded as a non-governmental organisation 20 years ago and has since been supporting community development, empowerment programmes, microcredits and scholarships throughout the length and breadth of Ogun State. 

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Oando Boss, Wale Tinubu Celebrates International Day of the Girl Child




The Group Chief Executive, Oando Plc., Mr. Wale Tinubu has joined millions of others across the globe to celebrate International Day of the Girl Child today, October 11, 2023.

According the statement made available the oil and gas merchant wrote:

‘’On International Day of the Girl Child, we celebrate the boundless potential of girls worldwide. I implore everyone to go beyond observing the day and pledge to empower the next generation of girls by providing them with the opportunities to thrive and foster a brighter, more inclusive future.   

Amongst the many ways I support the girl child, I am most proud of Oando Foundation and our impact over the past 12 years.  We have tailored interventions to ensure the rights of the girl child are protected by advocating for equality in access to quality education; in the process, positively impacting the lives of many young women.  

Today, through the Adopt-A-School Initiative, Oando Foundation has mobilized and enrolled 21,687 out-of-school girls back to school, with a 72% transition rate into secondary education. Notably, girls account for 58% of the 1,153 Oando scholarship awardees. 

I will continue to advocate for the girl child as investing in the girl child is investing in our common future’’

Many would will be aware that, Tinubu, is no doubt one of the champions of gender equality in Nigeria. While the African continent comes third after the United States and Europe, and first amongst other emerging regions in terms of women’s representation on boardrooms of top listed companies, some sectors are doing better than others. It was gathered that the billionaire businessman in the past had spoken in defense of women as well as the grudging refusal to empower women with leadership responsibilities and he is definitely walking the talking and leading the pack.

In what many observers have described as a paradigm shift, Tinubu’s leadership at Oando is currently seeing a surge in the number of women at its top echelon. As of today, 43 percent of the company’s workforce is female, compared to 22 percent across the industry. Of this, 33% of executive-level employees are female with the hope that its female representation on its board continues to grow.

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The Laudable Munificence of Zaynab Otiti-Obanor




“Personally, I have always seen humanitarian work as part of everyone’s responsibility, I believe that we all can offer something to help another. To change the world is to first change our thought towards giving, and it has to be a collective movement’’

 This has been the driving force behind Zaynab Otiti-Obanor.

The stylish woman is living up to her first name; Zaynab which means munificence. The equally gorgeous woman believes that regardless of where you are in life, there is something that you can offer, and that you mustn’t wait to be rich to be able to save the world.

For her, the act of generosity must first start from our willingness to develop a kind spirit.

This is where she derived the inspiration to start her foundation, Queen Zaynab Foundation.

As gathered, the Foundation has recorded tremendous success in the last few years since it was launched. She has tried in her own little way to set women in rural communities up in small businesses. The foundation has also given scholarships to kids from elementary levels to the university, giving aid to urgent needs of families, and rendered free medical care to few communities in need. 

But wait for it, she has also done what many other NGOs haven’t done, by building solar powered systems to generate clean and safe water for many rural communities in Nigeria.

The dazzling damsel is also a global personality with keen interest for rural development and social entrepreneurship, which has inspired most of her investments and work in her recent contributions to urban development of rural areas.

In August 2017, during the UNGA week, she was awarded a ‘Humanitarian of the year’ by ‘Kechies Project,’ an organisation that concentrates on the girl child education that she has fiercely contributed towards.

The city of New Jersey, US, alongside the senate committee also presented her with an award, acknowledging her contributions to the betterment of Africa as well as bringing awareness to problems that plague women and children such as poverty, economic strife and illiteracy.

Her quest for development and peace birthed the ‘Arab African Economic Development Initiative’ (AAEDI). It was formed to promote and improve cultural and international relations between Arab countries in the Middle East and Africa. So far, 34 countries across both continents have become partners of the organisation, pledging their support along with their relevant ministries in their various governments.

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