Nigeria Restates Commitment to Waste to Wealth Initiatives at 10th NCE

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Amina-Mohammed-Minister-of-the-Environment-504x289The Federal Government said it is embarking on initiatives to create entrepreneurs who will convert waste to wealth as part of its efforts to protect the environment from pollution.
Also a clean and green campaign to address the menace of open defecation and indiscriminate disposal of plastic bags in the country is to be launched throughout the country soon.
These were some of the key resolutions reached the 10th National Council on Environment which held in Lafia, Nasarawa State, chaired by the Hon. Minister of Environment Amina J Mohammed and had in attendance governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State along with officials from the ministry.
The theme of the 10th NCE as issued by the Federal Ministry of Environment is “Environment and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria – Empowering People, Taking Climate Action and Protecting the Environment
“Government initiative on waste to wealth is to protect the environment from pollution and to create entrepreneurs in waste management and alternative cleaner energy sources,” said Amina Mohammed, minister for the environment.
She further said, “The ministry is synergising with NIMET on the issues of flood, and our waste to wealth programme is to be located in Nasarawa state because of the enormous challenges in Karu axis.”
Speaking at the official opening of the council meeting, Almakura praised the Federal Government for according premium attention to issues that affect the environment.
He also commended the Federal Government for emphasis on the diversification of the economy while making a case for action in the areas of waste management and flooding among other issues that constitute a bane to the environment.
The Minister of Environment, who had earlier paid a courtesy call on Governor Almakura where she applauded him for the warm welcome the state and its people had given the 10th National Council Family, commended him for development initiatives and his efforts in transforming the state forward.
Mohammed stressed that the clean and green campaign was  one of the six core pillars of the government’s agenda, stressing that that her ministry was set up to contribute to the Change Agenda with its new vision of empowering people, tackling climate action and protecting the environment.
The event saw witnessed a large turnout of key officials including those from Ministry of Niger Delta, Environment, representative of United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and legislature members with oversight on environmental matters.
Participants expressed confidence in the ability of the Council of Environment to produce the desired road map that will help towards ensuring environmental sustainability.
At the event, Nasarawa State Government and the Federal Ministry of Environment signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on tackling ecological and environmental issues in Nassarawa State.
Other key agreements reached was the creation of a council report on the outcome of decisions on the submitted Council Memoranda by the Envronment Ministry, MDAs and other stakeholders for consideration and further necessary action, launching of  Eco-Hub, a web-based platform for information and knowledge sharing among Ministers and Hon. Commissioners of Environment.
it was also agreed that the structure of NCE will be repositioned starting from 2017 to make the process less cumbersome, more efficient and effective by putting in place innovative tracking and monitory system for Councils reports and decisions, ensuring the efficient use of executive time for scarce resources by reducing the number of days from five to three and producing guidelines for council meetings and process.

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Industry experts have long called for a concrete policy framework that will harness the waste to wealth potential of Nigeria and if the current efforts of the environment ministry are inkling, the sector may live up to its potential.  State governments like Lagos have encouraged private sector participation through recycling of bottles, cans, scrap metals, tires and other recyclable materials.
They say the waste to waste initiatives provides opportunity for small scale business owners as it requires little initial capital outlay and could create jobs if a proper policy is developed by government to encourage more participation.
“Some of the benefits of what we do are: reduction in diesel or power consumption in farms, and high density municipal areas, removal of bad odour in farm environment, removal of flies and extreme pestilence, and if the government were to adopt extreme wastewater treatment, we will be able to reduce the incidence of malaria and other waterborne diseases thus reducing the demand we place on hospitals” said Kanayo Adesina Odoe, CEO of Alchemist Energy Ltd, an outfit that focuses on alternative forms of energy and wastewater treatment.
The Federal Ministry of Environment already has a integrated waste management programme which has seen the ministry of embark on series of project under the initiative including establishment of ozone village, installation of waste management equipment and installation of waste recycling plants. The new initiative announced will deepen the ability to commercialise the sector.

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