Experts seek review of Nigeria’s bio-safety management act
Alarmed by the rate of environmental degradation and devastations associated with climate change and human activities, environmentalists have called for a review of the Nigeria Bio-safety Management Act in order to check electronic waste in the country.
They argued that environmental degradations and devastations associated with climate change have wrecked urban and rural livelihoods.
According to them, Nigeria is one of the few countries expected to be most affected by the impacts of climate change through sea level rise along her coastlines, intensified desertification, erosion, flooding disasters and general land degradation.
Speaking in Cross River State, at the 18th Bassey Andah memorial lecture themed: “The Nigerian Environment: A Threatened Heritage”, environmentalists warned that if nothing urgent is done, Nigeria’s inheritance can be wasted, damaged, or diminished to the extent that there would be nothing to be inherited by subsequent generations.
According to the keynote speaker and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), University of Benin, Professor Lawrence Ezemonye, “the process of burning fossil fuels to power cars, heavy duty vehicles and generators contributes greatly to the release of carbon dioxide and a variety of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere resulting in global warming and climate change”.
Ezemonye who is a professor of Ecotoxicology and Environmental Forensics, stated that despite the gains from oil, environmental pollution from activities such as gas flaring, oil spillage and land degradation through bush burning, population growth, urbanization and others contribute substantially to climate change impact.
The guest speaker, who is also the Director Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Nnimmo Bassey in a lecture, “Nigerian and Prodigal Environmental
Stewards”, said: “the volatility of the mix of rabid exploitation of nature and labour, the pursuit of maximum financial profits and the externalisation of environmental costs pose a complex threat to global environmental heritage.
Bassey argued that the “elevation of neoliberal paradigms to the status of religious creed makes environmental protection almost impossible when states pursue direct embark on road shows to attract foreign investments to the detriment of environmental patrimony.
Citing the case of the Nigeria Bio-safety Management Act, which was signed into law early 2015, just before the end of ex-president Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, he said, though the law governs bio-safety in Nigeria, but it is extremely permissive.