Climate Change Receives Boost as FG Appoints Salisu Dahiru Pioneer DG/CEO

…Environment Ministry Insists HYPREP is guided by legal instruments

By Hillary Asemota

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Dr. Salisu Mohammed Dahiru as Pioneer Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the National Council on Climate Change.

The appointment takes effect from 25th July 2022

Meanwhile, the Minister of Environment, Barr. Mohammed Abdullahi, has reassured that the establishment of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) is guided by legal instruments and international obligations which effectively placed it under the purview of the Federal Ministry of Environment.

As part of his effort to push Nigeria’s Climate Change agenda into the forefront, President Muhammadu Buhari made a commitment for Nigeria to achieve a net zero emission by 2060, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

In this regard, President Buhari expects the new DG to drive implementation of the Nigeria’s Climate Change Agenda and the National Climate Change Action Plan, including the development of a carbon market framework and a National Adaptation Plan, which will be in sync with the aspirations enshrined in our Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).

The new Director General holds B.Sc. Botany, M.Sc. Cytogenetics and Plant Breeding and Ph.D. in Environmental Resources Management. He has about thirty-seven years of cognate experience in environmental management, sustainable development, and the academia, of which over 14 years were in climate change policy, programs and projects at national and international levels. He pioneered and led Nigeria’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) Programme.

He has been Nigeria’s lead negotiator for the Agriculture, Forest and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sector under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Prior to his appointment, Dr. Salisu was the National Project Coordinator for the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) and the Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscape (ACReSAL) Project, both financed by the World Bank. He also served as the Federal Director of Forestry for eight years. He is a Fellow of the Forestry Association of Nigeria (FAN).

Salisu is an astute administrator, resource-manager, expert in climate change, complex project planning and management, resource mobilization and linkage with donor funding.

His vast experience in working with the World Bank and other Development Partners will positively enhance his effectiveness and efficiency in the smooth implementation of the National Climate Change Agenda.

The Minister said moreover, this is in line with Government gazette and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report guiding the establishment of HYPREP as the project is aimed at solving environmental challenges and therefore is appropriately domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Environment.

The Director of Public Affairs for the Ministry, Mr. Mohammed Sagir, in a statement, said: “We wish to further inform the general public that President Buhari has, vide a memo dated 28th April, 2022 with Ref No, PRES/81/SGF/82 conveyed via the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, reiterated the oversight of the Federal Ministry of Environment over HYPREP and has directed the Minister of Environment to deliver on the Ogoniland cleanup with dispatch

While approving the reorganization of the operations of HYPREP to make it more effective, President Buhari equally directed for the full audit of the accounts of HYPREP from inception to date,

The Ministry therefore assures all International Oil Companies (IOCs), partners and Ogoni Stakeholders of the commitment of the Federal Government to those instruments and obligations.

In this connection, Abdullahi implores all stakeholders to remain calm and continue to cooperate with HYPREP as it strives to execute its mandate.

The minister emphasized that the Federal Ministry of Environment will continue to provide purposeful leadership towards the actualization of the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to clean, remediate and restore the polluted environment not only in Ogoniland but the rest of the Niger Delta and beyond. (END)

Signed: Mr. Saghir el Mohammed, Director Press (FME).

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