The Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Mr Erik Solheim has sought the abolishment of use of plastics in Nigeria by 2023 adding that the federal government could achieve it through collaborative efforts with the private sector.
He stated this in Abuja when he led members of the UN family on a courtesy visit to the ministry of environment headquarters in Mabushi, Abuja.
Solheim pointed out that plastics could be reused 100 times through recycling saying that development of tourism could bolster environmental development.
He however suggested the use of refilled water bottles instead of plastics bottles.
In his presentation titled,’ Progress Report on 2015-2018 Environmental Issues in Nigeria’, the minister of environment, Mallam Ibrahim Usman Jibril recalled that in 2015 that about 28 children died from lead poisoning in Shikira community, Niger state due to artisanal mining.
He maintained that the children were completely exposed to serious health hazards adding that the ministry partnered with ministry of mines and steel to line up proper activities to ensure that the children were protected.
Jibril hinted that the ministry along with Terra graphic international foundation and Medicine Sans Frontier embarked on remediation activities to remove contaminated top soil.
He stated that out of N500m proposed for emergency remedial action that about N258m was spent for remediation of lead poisoning in Shikira community.
The minister highlighted that UNEP report on clean-up of Ogoni land has become a gospel in Niger Delta adding that Nigeria has experienced massive oil spill over the past three decades.
He assured that the ministry would consistently push for the clean-up of Ogoni land and other areas devastated by pollution in Niger delta , stressing that more than 10, 000 persons were treated in the area through the free medical outreach organised by Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP).
Jibril said that with the new policy in the ministry of petroleum targeted at ending gas flaring by 2020 that henceforth, people and industries would a penalty for gas flaring.
The minister stated that the ministry aligned its activities with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the present administration.
He disclosed that federal government budgetary allocation was insufficient in addressing the myriad of land degradation particularly erosion, noting that World Bank intervened by releasing $500m through the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) for restoration of erosion prone areas across the six geo-political zones.
Jibril pointed out that Lake Chad has shrunk by 10 percent of its original size which is one of the major reasons responsible for insecurity in the region.
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