FG to phase-out polythene bags, begins proposal for new GEF grant

By Chinedum Uwaegbulam   |   14 August 2017   |   1:30 am  

Global Environment Facility Desk Officer, Mr. Festus Eguoje (left); Representative of the Minister of State of State for Environment, Mr. Gabriel Lotto; Acting Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Mrs. Florence Sowunmi; Executive Director, Centre for Energy and Environmental Sustainability, Chike Chikwendu; Prof. Emmanuel Oladipo of University of Lagos and UNIDO environment expert, Mr. Yomi Banjo during the 10th National Steering Committee Meeting organised by the Federal Ministry of Environment in Abuja, recently


With over a million given out for free daily and its tremendous environmental cost, the Federal Government has announced plans to eradicate use of polythene bags for retention of drinking water to recyclable paper bags.
 
According to a 2008 estimate in Waste Management, people around the world discard between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags a year. Plastic bags kill wildlife, clog waterways and pack landfills. Discarded bags can spread malaria if they collect rainwater, offering mosquitos a casual breeding ground. 
 
Minister of State of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibril who spoke at the Global Environment Facility (GEF) 10th National Steering Committee Meeting held recently in Abuja organized by the Federal Ministry of Environment with support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Nigeria, said the government has taken the issues of environmental sanitation very serious. 
  
Jibril, represented by the ministry’s Director, Human Resources, Mr. Gabriel Lotto, said: “It is high time for us to get it right once to avoid environmental disasters that are grievous than those that we have experienced as well as ensure that we put a stop to environmental disaster that have bedeviled our rural and urban communities.”
 
He recalled that Nigeria has signed several bi-lateral and multi-lateral obligations with the objective of developing the potentials of the populace in all spheres of life to attain sustainable development, green economy, eradication of poverty and creation of employment with the purview of diversifying the Nigerian economy.
 
He said the meeting will evaluate the progress made by the implementing agencies and partners to ensure that the GEF-6 projects, which commenced in 2014 are developed and implemented in line with national priority, and ensure a well articulated of projects for GEF-7 cycle. 
  
He said: “The Federal Government is committed to environmental programmes and projects that will develop the Nigerian economy, fast-track its diversification and ensure increased revenue to deliver good governance. 
  
“We will do our best to involve every interested stakeholder in the Nigerian development project in tandem with governments change and development mantra to ensure sustainable development . The government  will attract more projects and funds into economy by maximising GEF interventions.”
 
He commended UNDP Country Office and other implementing agencies for their continued collaboration towards the upliftment of the people and the environment in developing nations.
 
Speaking on the Essentials of an Effective Environment Action Plan and Policy for Nigeria (2017 – 2020), Prof. Emmanuel Oladipo of the Department of Geography, University of Lagos urged the Federal Government to adopt a National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP) that will offer concrete actions for integrating environmental issues and development. 
  
NEAP will propose solutions to identified priority environmental problems in the form of programmes and projects, studies, issues and actions, strategies and activities, institutional and legislative reform, funding requirements and human resources capacity building needs. 
 
GEF Desk Officer, Mr. Festus Eguoje, said that the objective of the meeting is to provide a platform for issues in the implementation of the GEF-6 cycle approved projects and harmonising experiences to build upon the country programmes for the GEF-7 cycle proposals.
  



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