By Chijindu Emeruwa
Hon. Sam Onuigbo, member representing Ikwuano/Umuahia North and South federal constituency, was awarded the “Excellence Award in Environmental Governance”, on the 16th of March, 2022, by the Center for Environmental Management and Control (CEMAC), University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The award was presented to Hon. Sam Onuigbo by the VicE-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Charles Arizechukwu Igwe,
on the occasion of the First International Conference on “Climate Change” with the theme: “Climate Change in the COVID-19 Era”. The conference was hosted by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in collaboration with the School of Environment and Safety Engineering (SESE), Jiangsu University, China.
The award, which is another feather in the lawmaker’s fitting cap, was in recognition of his numerous contributions and leadership, as he continues on his Climate Change advocacy, consolidating on the success and momentum attained so
The event was well attended by leaders of the environment and energy sectors, as well as other sectors of the economy. Attending virtually from the School of Environment and Safety Engineering
(SESE), Jiangsu University was
Prof. D. U. Daolin (Dean, SESE),
Prof. Yang-Chun Hong and
Prof. Yanzhai Wang.
Other special guests at the occasion were;
Chief Sharon Ikeazor
(Hon. Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Environment)
Prof. Bart O. Nnaji
(Fmr. Minister, Ministry of Power)
Engr. Gerald Osuagwu
(Managing Director, Anambra-Imo Rivers
Basin Development Authority)
Dr. Habiba Lawal
(Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund Office)
Prof. Mandir B. Matazu
(CEO, Nigerian Metrological Agency)
Engr. Mrs. Uche Patrick-Obikile
(Nigerian Metrological Agency)
The highlights of the event were;
The opening remarks by the chairman of the occasion, Hon. Sam Onuigbo ( Member Representing Ikwuano/Umuahia North and South Federal Constituency)
Welcome address by the Chief Host, Prof. Charles Arizechukwu Igwe (Vice-Chancellor, University of Nigeria,
Address by the host, Prof. Anene N. Moneke (Director, Center for Environmental Management
and Control, UNN)
Goodwill message from Prof. D.U Daolin (Dean, School of Environment and Safety
Engineering, Jiangsu University, China) and
The lead paper presentation by Prof. Yang-Chun Yong (Director, Biofuel Institute and Vice Dean, School of Environment and Safety Engineering, Jiangsu
University) on the topic: “Carbon dioxide (CO2) Fixation and Transformation by Biotechnology.”
In his welcome address, the VicE-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Prof. Charles Arizechukwu Igwe, welcomed everyone to the grand event which is the first of its kind, expressing the University community’s delight at hosting this important conference. He stated that the theme of the conference, “Climate Change in the COVID-19 Era” is very proper, especially now that the global populace is challenged by extreme and unstable climate conditions, which has been further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. He said, “there is hardly any part of the globe without climate change crisis. I therefore consider this conference very worthwhile and thoughtful, as it is expected to feature discussions and contents that will signal an integrated multidisciplinary approach to fostering
and advancing the way forward”.
He concluded by stating that there is still hope for the future if we continue to raise awareness and consciousness of these challenges through conferences such as this.
In his remarks, Hon. Sam Onuigbo expressed his joy in participating in this maiden international conference by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, stating that it is important that stakeholders meet from time to time to hold proper and in-depth discussions on issues that are germane to our existence and future.
Chronicling the events of the past three years, he explained the causes, effects, and relationship of the COVID-19 pandemic and Climate Change in our society, lifestyle, and economy while proffering possible
action plans that will help us pull through these challenges:
“ I see a strong nexus between what we went through with COVID-19 and the ongoing fight against climate change. For a start, both are global catastrophes that are not restricted by borders. Thus, global efforts are requisite in tackling both disasters, as no one country can be safe if the entire world is not safe. But the beauty and strength of humanity lies in our resilience—that neveR-ending desire to overcome our challenges and build back better” the lawmaker stated.
He also highlighted one Climate Change Act, its provisions, impact, implications, and the next steps forward:
“ We have taken the first critical step by enacting a Climate Change Act. This Act offers us the legal framework to embark on coordinated and multilevel actions to combat climate change and build back in a sustainable and green way” he said.
He thanked the ViVice-Chancellor the University of Nigeria, the university community, and the organizers of the event for recognizing his many contributions towards a resilient recovery for people and the anet, charging the participants of the conference to not just learn, but also take action to implement what they have learned