As Nigeria celebrates her 60th independence, stakeholders in the environment sector have urged the Federal Government to effectively implement projects in the sector to promote development and achieve a sustainable environment.
The stakeholders spoke with the News agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 in Abuja.
Mr. Williams Osaze, President, Society for the Promotion of People’s Right, an NGO, says that the government needs to implement projects through effective collaboration with other relevant stakeholders.
Osaze advocates that Nigeria should also apply strategies that will enhance activities to enable reversing, strengthening as well as sustaining the environment.
“Implementation of projects has been a major challenge in both the environment and even other sectors across the country.
“The overall management practices at the three tiers of governments, federal, states and local are very poor and uncoordinated which have resulted to strong challenges in our environment,” he said.
Osaze urged the government to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to constitute a strong taskforce in addressing environmental challenges.
He says that creating such a taskforce will enhance strong sensitisation on the importance of tree planting and how to address climate change, waste management and other environmental challenges in the country.
Osaze declares that tree planting is one of the major ways to curb environmental challenges in any given environment.
He says that the stakeholders should collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Environment to strengthen the taskforce in any activities they carry out.
According to Osaze, the essence of constituting the taskforce is to enable them to educate Nigerians on the importance of obeying environmental laws.
“The government and stakeholders should specifically explain to Nigerians what the environmental laws are all about and let them know the implications of violating such laws.
“For instance, some people may not know the implication of cutting down trees without replacing it.
“So, I believe the laws will tell the people the implications through the exercise.
“It will also educate the people on those human activities they are doing that can cause land degradation, which can as well contribute challenges in our environment.
“The team should be spread across the country to ensure the sensitisation is effective.
“This idea of constituting the taskforce is part of activities developed countries are doing that help them to address their various challenges.
“It is high time our country should learn how to copy the success recorded by other developed countries for a sustainable development and ensure a better way forward,” he said.
The president says that government should also encourage effective management strategies in the sector, adding that a healthy environment enhances a healthy life.
Mr. Joseph Effiong, an Environment and Development expert advised the government and other relevant stakeholders to engage in such activities that will attract international investors.
Effiong says that foreign investment will enhance development in various sectors in the country.
He suggests that state governments should work together with stakeholders and create specific dump sites in various area councils where residents would be dumping their waste.
The expert says that indiscriminate dumping of waste has constituted a lot of environmental challenges, adding that it is important to adequately address the issue effectively.
“It is important to keep our environment clean; a dirty environment can cause various illnesses and diseases to our health, thereby leading to death.
“Health, they say, is wealth, so we should try to keep our environment clean, especially during this rainy season where our body system can easily be exposed to any sickness,” Effiong said.
Another environment expert, Mr. Moses Benjamin, says that the Nigerian Environmental Society (NES) recently visited the Minister for Environment for effective collaboration to address environmental challenges.
Benjamin says that the idea is a good development, adding that the efforts would help the two bodies to embark on activities that will strengthen and protect the environment.
According to him, some of NES activities are geared towards development and protection of the environment and to drive the agenda of making the environment more conducive and sustainable.
“I believe the collaboration will work in line with the socio-political mandates of this administration and other levels in the country,’’ Benjamin said.
He advised Nigerians and other relevant stakeholders to join NES to collaborate with international and other local stakeholders for strong implementation of projects in various sectors, adding that the government cannot do the work alone.
By Vivian Emoni