Port Harcourt — The Federal Government has said that the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration was giving full attention to environmental pollution in the country, particularly in the Niger Delta region.
The Minister of Environment, Mahmood Abubakar, disclosed this at the 3rd International Waste Management Summit in Port Harcourt, organised by the Waste Management Society of Nigeria, WAMASON.
The Minister speaking on the theme, waste management in an emerging economy, challenges and opportunity, explained that all forms of waste must be properly handled, so as not to become a problem to the environment.
Abubakar represented by the Officer Overseeing the Project Coordinator of HYPREP, Prof. Philips Shekwolo, said waste management remains critical for safe and healthy living, hence managing wastes through clean up, remediation and restoration becomes a priority.
He disclosed that it was the importance of tackling hydrocarbon wastes that the government set up the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP.
“The environment is the recipient of all forms of waste, whether domestic or industrial wastes. The land, aquatic body and the air through emissions, thus we must ensure that these wastes are properly managed and that these wastes do not become a problem to the environment.
“The Federal Government has taken hydrocarbon waste management as a very important aspect, thus it created HYPREP under Ministry of Environment to cleanup oil impacted areas.
“The Federal Government is giving full attention to environmental pollution in the country and we are committed to it.”
Earlier, the President of WAMASON, Prof. Oladele Osinbanjo, disclosed that Nigeria generated more than 32million tons of municipal waste in 2020, which is expected to double in 2025.
Osinbanjo listed some of these harzardous wastes in emerging economy to include, petroleum and petrochemical industry wastes, toxins and furans from burning of solid waste plastics, obsolete pesticides and other chemicals.
Others are,Covid19 wastes, polychlorinated biphenyl in electrical transformer oils, used engine oils, used tyres, used lead acid batteries, mining wastes, electronic wastes, medical wastes, etc
He urged the Ministry of Environment to domesticate multilateral agreements on wastes and chemicals already ratified at the international level, to prevent future dumping of wastes in the country and ensure strict enforcement of appropriate regulations.
Also speaking the National Vice President of Nigerian Environmental Society, Nwateagu John, announced that the group was already pushing a Bill that will make waste management and environmental management chartered.
John said waste has a way of generating income to build the economy, as it has been demonstrated by some universities that electricity can be generated from waste, which would inturn create employment for the youths.
Highlights of the event was the award for commitment and dedication to professionalism in environmental waste management and disposal to NOSDRA, NCDMB, NLNG, RIWAMA, NESREA, the Minister of Environment, among others.