Minister advocates new institute for environmental studies
The Minister of State for Environment, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor has called for the establishment of a National Institute of Environmental Studies, saying it would provide the necessary expertise for certification of practitioners in the country.
She said, when operational, the institute would promote the much-needed manpower that will address various environmental challenges as well as streamline the practice of environmental scientists, and enthusiasts in the sector.
Ikeazor stated this when the National President of the Nigerian Environmental Society (NES), Dr. Dorothy Bassey paid a courtesy visit to her in Abuja. She explained that the institute has become necessary for certification and competency in handling the various aspects of climate change and the ecosystem as a whole.
She assured NES President of the ministry’s readiness to collaborate with the society in the protection and conservation of the environment, implementation of the recently approved National Solid Waste Management Policy, the National Forestry Policy, and the National Gender Action Plan on Climate Change.
The minister noted that the National Gender Action Plan on climate change is to mainstream gender into the sector to create jobs for women, youths, and other vulnerable citizens, the Minister emphasised, as part of environmental remediation, the government is committed to mangroves restoration and protection across the country.
Similarly, Ikeazor called for expertise and collaboration from the society to further deepen the knowledge and the creation of awareness among Nigerians on the numerous benefits to life sustenance and the ecosystems.
According to her, it will avail the country several benefits in terms of controlling coastal erosion, serve in the restoration of polluted areas, and protect marine animals that provide a livelihood.
She promised that at the appropriate time, President Muhammadu Buhari would ascent to the Act, saying, as the environmental regulator of oil and gas activities in the country, NOSDRA requires all the legal and administrative backing to operate successfully.
The minister, therefore, added the environmental degradation in the Niger Delta, especially the Port Harcourt soot, the Artisanal refining, and the ‘kpo-fire’, are all as a result of inadequate regulations and non-compliance with environmental regulations.
Earlier, NES President, Dr. Bassey, said the visit was to seek an avenue for partnership in the area of protection of the environment and advocacy and to serve as a vehicle to disseminate the ministry’s messages and policies to the grassroots.
She solicited the support of the minister and other stakeholders to facilitate the passage of the bill establishing the National Environmental Institute into law to ensure that only those with requisite skills should be engaged in the sector.
On his part, the Permanent Secretary, Abel Olumuyiwa Enitan, commended the society for taking interest in the ministry’s activities and their commitment to environmental issues and welcomes the offer for partnership.