Niger State Governor, Mohammed Bago has raised concerns about the negative effects of climate change, saying it is partly responsible for the spate of insecurity being witnessed in the country.
While observing that the effects of climate change are underreported, the governor urged the media to give adequate coverage to climate change
Bago stated this on Friday in Minna, the Niger State capital at a retreat on climate change organised by the Niger State Government for the House of Representatives Press Corps.
Represented by the Niger State Deputy Governor, Yakubu Garba, Bago described climate change as one of the biggest problems confronting the nation today.
He said, “In Nigeria, it (climate change) is a matter of concern to governments and experts because it is happening at a very frightening level. We have problems of flood, desertification, environmental pollution, etc, and despite efforts being made, the devastating effects of climate change are recorded yearly. Even part of the insecurity we face today is attributed to climate change, which deserves priority attention
“Unfortunately, it seems some of these disasters are even underreported. Perhaps, the media is not adequately equipped to handle this. I believe that as journalists who report from the parliament, where laws are enacted, it is essential that you acquire the necessary skills and tools to mainstream climate change. This can enable you to set an agenda for the legislature and indeed the executive.”
Bago further gave reasons the Niger State Government is hosting a summit on Green Economy next week.
“The Government of Niger State under my leadership is prioritising climate change to mitigate natural and manmade disasters. This informs the decision to convoke a Green Economy Summit.
“Since my assumption of office, we have raised the ante of informing the public about preventive measures to save lives and reduce damage to property and infrastructure. We are willing to collaborate with the media to drive this advocacy as well as work out strategies to put climate change issues on the front burner,” he added.
In his keynote address with the theme, “The role of the media in mainstreaming climate change policies,” Director General of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, Abubakar Suleiman urged the media to play an active role in sensitising the society on the importance of climate change policies and their place in the sustenance of the environment.
Represented by the General Manager, Democracy Radio, Mr Kudu Abubakar, the NILDS DG said, “The media must keep the legislature informed about issues and developments in climate change policies so that when it fails, it can be held accountable.”
Earlier in her welcome address, the chairperson of the House of Representatives Press Corps, Grace Ike, underscored the importance of the media in information dissemination.
“The media, as we are all aware, plays a significant role in the development of society. And any public or elected official who knows his or her onions and wants to succeed always courts the media because no matter how well you perform, if the media does not tell your story, your achievements will remain elusive and anonymous.
“As we are all aware, climate change has impacted our lives in different ways. This has altered our environment and ecosystem. Interestingly, the government is also coming up with various policies to mitigate the effects of climate change not just for Niger State but globally. It is therefore our responsibility as reporters to communicate and properly disseminate this information,” she said.
Source: The Guardian