By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
Nigerian Environmental Experts said current Forest Cover of Nigeria is less than 4% as against the expected 25%.
This was contained in communiqué issued at the end of it the 11th National Council on Environment (NCE ) held at , Abeokuta Ogun State recently saying the exportation of charcoal in Nigeria should be banned and an alternative clean source of energy should be developed and promoted.
With the theme “Unlocking the Investment Opportunities in the Environment Sector Towards Nigeria’s Economic Recovery, Diversification, Growth and Sustainable Development”.
The communiqué further explained that during the conference the Council considered 83 memoranda, stepped down 16, and recommended 67 consisting of 38 action and 29 information memoranda.
The Council deliberated extensively on all the memoranda and noted the emerging environmental issues, climate smart actions and the need to update all relevant environmental regulations as well as immediate the commencement of the implementation of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for all policies, plans and programmes in Nigeria. Accordingly, the Council resolved as follows:
Also, urged the Federal Ministry of Environment should step up actions toward synergy with relevant MDAs through Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) in order to resolve serious challenges of overlap, conflict and duplication of regulatory roles.
‘’Federal Government should put in place policies and other measures to promote provision and utilization of Solar Energy and energy efficient cook stove. There should be synergy between the Federal and State Governments in the implementation of climate change programmes especially on capacity building and access to global climate finance.
The State Governments should provide security for Federal Ministry of Environment projects under implementation in their States to prevent vandalization and also fulfill their obligations as agreed. The Federal Ministry of Environment should domesticate Minamata Convention on Mercury and other Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) ratified by Nigeria’’.
The Council stated that the Federal Ministry of Environment and States should establish reliable electronic based data bank on Pollution Control and Waste Management issues in the country.
“Flood Early Warning Systems (FEWS) in flood prone areas should be installed by Federal, States and Local Governments to save lives and property during flooding.
States that have indicated interest to key into the NEWMAP Programme should put aside minimum counterpart fund of N500 million, provide 12.90% of total cost of the project as well as provide base line data of erosion sites in their States”.
“There should more awareness and sensitization should be carried out to achieve better adoption of Tree planting and reforestation of degraded forest estates.
State should be encouraged to put in place Waste-to- Wealth programmes initiatives that can attract private sector participations and foreign direct investment in order to unlock investment opportunities in the waste management sub- sector”
A total of 712 participants from 23 States, including State Commissioners for Environment; Forestry; Permanent Secretaries; Director General/CEOs of Agencies; Directors of MDAs; Officials of Federal and State Ministries of Environment; Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs); Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Development Partners attended the 3 day meeting.
During the conference the Council considered 83 memoranda, stepped down 16, and recommended 67 consisting of 38 action and 29 information memoranda.
The session also featured remarks by the Honorable Minister of State for Environment Ibrahim Usman Jibril. the Governor of Ogun state Sen.Ibikunle Amosun , opening ceremony featured presentation of welcome address by the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Environment, Dr. Shehu M. U. Ahmed, goodwill messages by the wife of the Governor of Ogun State, Dr. (Mrs.) Olufunso Amosu, the Representative of the Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment, Sen. Magnus Ngei Abe and the Chairman House Committee on Climate Change, Hon. Samuel Onuigbo, as well as from the Honourable Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Suraj Adekunbi.