By Alex Okoro

OrderPaperToday – The sum of N417 million has been allocated in the 2016 budget to tackle climate change, so says Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu.

Adamu made the disclosure on Tuesday at an interactive session between the House of Representatives Committee on Climate Change and Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) held at the national assembly.

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The minister said the rate of encroachment of Sahara desert has led to massive relocation of people living close to it.

At the interactive session which attracted Environment, Budget and National Planning and other ministries, Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed said the ministry is working to end gas flaring in the country by 2030.

Mohammed expressed further “that climate change is very real and its solution can be found by the ministry”.

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed on her part recommended the inclusion of climate change issues into national development planning process.

Ahmed said the country was predisposed to severe negative impacts due to lack of proper coordination to mainstream climate change concerns into national development planning process.

She said that the inclusion should involve the integrated mitigation and adaptation process to climate change into the 2016 successor short, medium and long term plans at all tiers of government.

“We recommend the inclusion of mainstream climate change into the 2016 development plan for proper coordination and budgetary financing,’’ the Minister added.

According to her, the fund will be targeted at developing the country’s climate change profile, roadmap of organizations and stakeholders, training modules, capacity building and monitoring and evaluation framework.

“Some of these mitigation strategies that can be used include cleaner production technologies in industry, using fossil fuels more efficiently, switching to renewable energy and improving insulation of buildings.

Earlier, Chairman House Committee on Climate Change, Rep. Sam Onuigbo (PDP-Abia) said there was need to re commit the MDAs to deploy people and material resources towards mitigating the effect of climate change in the country.

According to Onuigbo, the Federal government and governments around the world have taken climate change very seriously.

“And we have no option but to move swiftly and seamlessly from science to policy to practical approaches and strategies whose full implementation will have far reaching positive social and economic outcomes for our communities, citizens and country,’’ he said.

He said the essence of the interactive session was to ascertain the verifiable practical steps taken by MDAs to establish a climate change department or response.

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