The Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has described the preservation and sustenance of the environment as a collective task, charging all Nigerians to pay adequate attention to both human and environmental implication of their actions to achieve sustainable development of the country.
According to Amosun, who made the charge at the 11th National Council on Environment held at June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, noted that it is important that we consider the environmental implications of every aspect of our development plan, even before we embark on them, stressing that the environment plays an invaluable role towards the growth and enhancement of the nation’s socio-economic activities.
He said “the preservation and sustenance of the environment is a collective work for all and sundry. It should not be solely left in the hands of the government. If we all desire to live a worthy life that will be beneficial to the generation yet unborn, we must ensure that we take issues of safe environment more seriously.”
He then charged corporate bodies, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Corporate Organizations in Nigeria as a whole to partner with government as it strives towards bequeathing an environment that will provide future generations the opportunity to survive.
He added that environment contributes; directly, by providing resources and raw materials such as water, timber and minerals that are required as inputs for the production of goods and services; and indirectly, through services provided by ecosystems including carbon sequestration, water purification, managing flood risks, and nutrient cycling.
“You will quite agree with me that, central to the survival and existence of human life is the environment, it, therefore, behoves on us not to treat environmental issues with kid gloves. Unfortunately, it seems that man is his own enemy, it is now clear that most adverse climatic and environmental problems that occur today are manifestations of man’s inadvertent but cruel response to climate on local and regional scale through some of his activities.
“Natural resources are vital for securing economic growth and development, not only for present use but, for future generations. Therefore, concerted efforts must be put in place to ensure the protection and sustenance of our environment, Amosun said.
“We must learn from the experiences of other nations, economic development pattern has shown that there is a direct link, not just between the environment, but, the way we treat our environment, and socio-economic development. We have seen the consequences of bad environmental policy on countries who decide to relegate environment to the background. We have also seen the positive impact of the socio-economic development on countries who take environmental issues seriously”.
He noted that “One of the critical footprints of man in today’s world is the significant addition of Green-House-Gases into the atmosphere which causes sustained spike in the global temperature, called global warming. The consequence of this is climate change,” positing that “climate change has become a global issue in recent times, manifesting in sporadic variation of different climate parameters including cloud cover, precipitation, atmospheric temperature and pressure with attendant implications on sea level.
“Climate change occurs as a result of continued damage to the ozone layer, leading to melting of ice glacier at the poles and consequently increasing the volume of water in the oceans, thus endangering the lives of people living within the water basins. We could not have forgotten the floods experienced across the world years back; and, most recently, in Benue State of Nigeria; and, in Sierra Leone on the continent of Africa”.
While considering the environment the physical point of view, Amosun, said the infrastructural projects we embark on should not be ends to themselves, they should be able to elicit more job opportunities, provide poverty alleviation approaches and reduce poverty, arguing that “our infrastructural development plan should be able to stimulate more commercial activities.”
He revealed that his government administration has articulated a new and holistic environmental policy geared towards efficient and effective management of the environment. “In the vigorous pursuit of our “Mission to Rebuild” Ogun State, we are committed to making our State a united, secure, stable, economically-prosperous and socially-inclusive society founded on strong democratic principles.”
He added that his government is committed to ensuring the aesthetics of our environment; by putting in place proper irrigation system and necessary mechanisms that will guarantee the continuous sanctity of our environment.
“As a matter of deliberate policy, our administration provides greenery on the medians alongside pedestrian walkways on every of the roads being constructed. We also ensure that sanitation and environmental regulation enforcement are being undertaken. Our determination to curb the menace of flooding and flood-related problems prompted the procurement of a swamp bougie to dredge the river channels, coupled with the holistic approach our various infrastructural developments.” the governor said.