The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has said that the National Assembly is pushing for inclusion of environment and its related issues in the country’s concurrent legislative list.
According to him, the push followed increasing spate of environmental and natural disasters across the world, which are proof that climate change is not a hoax.
Dogara stated this at the opening of a national stakeholders’ summit on legislative frame-work for environmental law and policy in Abuja where he argued that the Nigerian environment currently presents the picture of a threatened heritage.
He said one of the amendments being proposed by the Legislature was to move environment from residual to concurrent list to enable the National Assembly legislate on it.
He stated that the leadership of the National Assembly was conscious of the grave threats posed by such issues as global warming, climate change, ocean surge, drought/desertification, oil spillage, erosion, waste management and gas-flaring, degradation of agricultural lands, soil loss, erosions, landslides, bush burning, unwarranted and uncontrolled grazing, deforestation and general environmental pollution.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives yesterday swore in Mrs. Dorothy Mato as replacement for the sacked member representing Vandeikya/Konshisha Federal Constituency of Benue State, Herman Hembe.
At the commencement of plenary, the House Clerk, Adamu Abdulkadir, administered oath of office and that of membership on Mato before she was assigned a seat in the chamber.
Also, in a bid to ensure qualitative education in the polity, the House yesterday faulted the decision by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to reduce the cut-off marks required for admission of candidates into tertiary institutions in the country.
Adopting a motion sponsored by Mr. Hassan Saleh at the plenary presided by Deputy Speaker, Sulaimon Yusuff Lasun, the lawmakers mandated the Aminu Sulaiman-led Committee on Tertiary Education and Services to investigate the circumstances that led to the adoption of the measure and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.
Saleh noted that it beats his imagination that JAMB announced a 120 cut-off mark which represents only 30 per cent of the total examination mark of 400 for universities and a 100 marks stipulated for polytechnics and colleges of education representing 20 per cent of the total mark.
He said the decision was bound to lower the standard of education in tertiary institutions as many candidates who performed woefully in the UMTE examination could secure admission through nepotism, bribery and corruption while many other candidates who performed excellently could be denied admission.
In another development, the House of Representatives yesterday passed to third reading 21 bills earlier considered and approved by members during the amendment of the 1999 Constitution exercise three months ago.
The 21 items included that seeking to include former heads of the National Assembly in the Council of States, among others.