By Linda Ike
The Niger state Governor, Mohammed Bago has urged the house of representatives correspondents to pay more attention in climate change reporting and not to concentrate on reporting politics alone.
Bago made the call on Friday at the Retreat organised by the Niger state Government for the house of representatives press corps in Mina, the Niger state capital with the theme: Role of the media in Mainstreaming climate change policies.
Bago who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Yakubu Garba said Climate Change is one of the biggest problems confronting nations today, stating that it is a matter of concern to governments and experts as it is happening at a very frightening level.
He urged the media to inform, educate and enlighten the society on the implications of climate change.
He further said that his leadership is prioritizing climate change to mitigate natural and manmade disasters.
The Governor said, “Climate change is one of the biggest problems confronting nations today. In Nigeria, it 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.
“I therefore, invite you to show more interest in issues of climate change. Do not concentrate on reporting politics alone but also pay due attention to climate change because it directly affects human welfare and condition of living.
“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.”
The Commissioner for Environment and Climate Change, Niger state, Yakubu Kolo said the Niger state Maiden Green Economy summit, 2023 which is coming up on October 24 to 25 this year, will focus on how to handle the issue of climate change in Nigeria.
Hon. Sam Onuigbo, the sponsor of the climate change bill in the 9th assembly who presented a paper titled: the media, parliament and climate change appealed to media to continue to inform and enlighten the general public on the danger of climate change.
He also suggested that every Non Governmental Organisation NGOs) should have a climate change officer who is a director.