Gov Sule wants FG to train Nasarawa residents on conversion of waste to wealth

Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has called on the Federal Ministry of Environment to train and sensitise the people of the state on how to convert waste to wealth.

Sule made the call during the commissioning of the Community Based Waste Management facility in Karu on Tuesday.

He said the people of the state-required lots of training and sensitisation, in order to become aware that people were now looking for wastes to buy, instead of dumping such into drains, thereby causing floods.

“Some of the problems we are having today about drains and flood are because people actually take the waste and dump it into our drains,” he said.

The governor said from his experience in the oil and gas sector, he was aware of the dangers posed by environmental degradation.

He said from the statistics of the population explosion in Greater Karu area of the state, there was no better time to worry about environmental issues and setting up such project for Karu than now.

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He said the State Government would ensure effective, efficient and maximum utilisation of the project, as the state had taken the issue of the environment very seriously.

On the conversion of waste to wealth, Sule noted that it is was a norm worldwide, adding that prior to his inauguration as Governor, he had invited a UK firm specifically to see how the state could convert waste to pellets for energy generation.

He expressed his determination to expand the waste management project.

“We will also continue to call on our traditional rulers and community leaders to continue with that spirit so that instead of taking our waste now and dumping it into the drains, they can gather that waste, we have a factory here that can convert that waste to wealth,” he said.

Sule urged the Karu Local Government Chairman, Samuel Akala, Overseer of Karshi Development Area and the Managing Director of Nasarawa Waste Management Bureau, retired Group Captain Tanko Auta, to collectively ensure that Karu was kept clean and environmentally friendly.

Commissioning and handing over the project to the Nasarawa State government, Minister of Environment Dr Mahmud Mohammed-Abubakar, said the Community Based Management Project was an intervention in solid waste management by the Federal Government.

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Mohammed Abubakar said it was designed to assist states to manage their solid waste in an environmentally sound manner.

He said the menace caused by solid waste in Nigeria, particularly the urban centres, was one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the country.

“The problem is exacerbated by urban migration, overpopulation, the emergence of urban slums, industrialization, changes in consumption pattern, inadequate planning, inadequate resources and facilities for sustainably managed solid waste that is being generated on a daily basis,” he said.

He said the intervention project would change waste to wealth, help states manage their municipal solid waste environmentally, as well as adopt the base approach, in which the local community could buy-in and take ownership of the project for viability and sustainability.

The minister explained that the programme was also expected to among others, train and generate employment particularly for youths and women, attract private sector participation and investment, including foreign direct investment.

Earlier, Managing Director of the Nasarawa State Waste Management Bureau, retired Group Captain Auta, recalled that recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) adjudged the Greater Karu to be the fastest-growing centre in the world, with an estimated 1.8 million people.

According to Auta, the daily waste production in the area is over 360, 000 tonnes.

(NAN)

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