Environmental expert tasks FG on waste management
The Federal Government has been urged to ensure only accredited consultants of the Ministry of Environment are used in the enforcement of waste management policies.
An environmental management expert, Prof Chidozie Uwalaka, made the call on Tuesday in Owerri while delivering a lecture titled: ‘Hazardous Waste Management, a Way Forward for Nigeria.’
The event was organised by the newly inaugurated Imo Council of Nigerian League of Environmental Management.
Uwalaka expressed worries that poor handling of hazardous waste products in various organisations in the country might further expose Nigerians to health challenges.
He said Nigeria still operated a waste management system below the global standard.
“In line with the new world order, the Federal Government must be aware of how the oil companies, hospitals, banks, industries, tertiary institutions and so on manage their hazardous waste.
“It is globally recommended for countries to make use of accredited consultants from their Ministry of Environment.
“Following its expertise and stringent conditions, the Ministry of Environment is compelled to act in the overall benefit of the society,” he said.
Uwalaka, a lecturer at the College of Arts and Science, University of Francisco, USA, further advised the federal government on the need to be wary of most of those recognised by its establishments as accredited agents.
According to him, in the 21st century, government seems not to be committed to the ideals of managing hazardous waste, despite its societal implications.
Uwalaka stressed the need for all tiers of government to give priority attention to matters concerning hazardous waste as a strategic means of reducing air pollution and building environmental friendliness.
In his remarks, the council Chairman, Dr Godwin Ofoegbu, said the essence of the seminar was to create awareness on the organisation and its role in national development.
He said the event also aimed at forming a collaborative partnership with all stakeholders and encouraging a strategic road map for the federal government.
Ofoegbu decried using quacks in hazardous waste management.
He advised government to give sole authorisation to the Federal Ministry of Environment in the issuance of certificates to accredited consultants as means of sanitising the system.