In continuation of the plan to develop a framework and functional secretariat for the National Decarbonization Programme, today, the Honourable Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, met with some stakeholders including Chris Newson, Joseph Ekiye, Jesse-Martin Manufor, Asmau Jibril, Rukayya Muhammed, Chioma Amudi, and Sandra Uzoho in his office at the Ministry's Headquarters, Abuja. It was quite a fruitful engagement.
Distinguished Gentlemen of the Press, I welcome you to this important Press Briefing. It is organized to brief you and the nation that the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) has graciously approved the establishment of ten (10) additional National Parks bringing the total number of the National Parks in the Country to Seventeen (17). I will also brief you on the efforts of the Ministry in the Control of the second wave of the Covid-19.
2. The details of the new National Parks are as follows:
1. Allawa Game Reserve
Allawa National Park
2. Apoi Forest Reserve
Apoi National Park
3. Edumenum Forest Reserve
Edumenum National Park
4. Falgore Game Reserve
Falgore National Park
5. Hadeja Wetland Game Reserve
Hadeja Wetland National Park
6. Kampe Forest Reserve
Kampe National Park
7. Kogo Forest Reserve
Kogo National Park
8. Marhai Forest Reserve
Marhai National Park
9. Oba Hill Forest Reserve
Oba Hills National Park
10. Pandam Forest Reserve
Pandam National Park
3. To give credence and legal backing to this worthy cause, an Executive Bill will soon be presented to the National Assembly for further necessary action.
4. It should be noted that, the first National Park in Nigeria, Kanji Lake was created in 1979. This was followed by six (6) others spread across the country namely:
i. Kamuku National Park-Kaduna State
ii. Kainji Lake National Park-Niger and Kwara States
iii. Gashaka-Gumti National Park -Adamawa & Taraba States
iv. Chad Basin National Park-Borno and Yobe States
v. Okomu National Park-Edo State
vi. Cross River National Park-Cross River State
vii. Old Oyo National Park-Oyo State
5. The creation of additional National Parks in Nigeria has become imperative in view of the prevailing effects of climate change across the globe. This action is geared towards the United Nation’s policy of placing 25% of its member countries’ landmass under permanent vegetation cover for carbon sequestration to mitigate the effects of climate change and ameliorate other ecological challenges. It may interest you to note that Nigeria currently has 6.7% of her total landmass under vegetation cover which is grossly inadequate in line with global best practices. The creation of these Parks will no doubt, further create more employment opportunities, alleviate poverty in rural areas and ultimately enhance the country’s revenue profile especially now that Nigeria is seeking to diversify her economy.
6. The seventeen (17) National Parks cut across the ecological zones of the country except the marine eco-system. National Parks are areas reserved and managed for conservation of wildlife and natural resources. The Parks contain several rich and diverse varieties of rare endangered species like Elephants, Gorillas, Giraffes, Monkeys, Golden Cats, Hippopotami, crocodiles etc and a host of plant species.
7. The functions of the National Park Service involve surveillance, patrolling, checking illegal activities of poachers in the Parks, enforcement of relevant international treaties and conventions to which Nigeria is a signatory, public enlightenment on the protection and conservation of plants and animals, assisting researchers and searching, arresting and prosecuting offenders.
8. Some of the benefits of the National Parks include the protection of life support systems such as watersheds and water catchment areas. National Parks have great potentials for the development of research, particularly on agriculture, medicine and bio-technology. They also serve as field laboratories for Nigerian Universities and other tertiary institutions. The National Parks are Nigeria’s eco-treasure and have the potentials of contributing substantially to the National economy when fully developed as obtains in East and Southern Africa.
9. Gentlemen of the Press, as you are very much aware National Security is crucial to Protected Areas. It is also regrettable that most State Owned Forest Reserves today have become dens of criminal activities. Therefore, in a bid to further add impetus to the current fight against insurgency as well as other organized crimes such as kidnapping, cattle rustling, banditry amongst others, the creation of these National Parks will provide the much needed apparatus to ward off criminal elements living or looking for hide outs in those Areas.
10. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is important at this juncture to note that in order to ensure maximum security and benefits of these National Parks enunciated above, Mr. President has also directed that the Federal Ministry of Environment, Agriculture & Natural Resources as well as that of Interior should work together to ensure the attainment of the targets.
11. At this junction, it is necessary that we remind ourselves that Nigeria is witnessing a resurgence of COVID-19 Infection going by the records of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control. This resurgence, the second wave as it is known, is hitting Countries and Territories with varying degrees of impact. The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, has been advocating to Nigerians to observe safety provisions in the Protocol for Corona Virus Disease control in the Country.
12. In the wake of the resurgence, the Federal Ministry of Environment has already begun Terminal Environmental Decontamination/Disinfection of Premises where COVID-19 cases have been recorded stemming out of requests from such quarters. We, as a Ministry are determined to continue to support the Federal Government’s coordinated response to the Pandemic. As previously done, the Ministry is poised to once again render qualitative services.
13. You will recall that the Ministry, being one of the Line COVID-19 Response Ministries, proactively mobilized the general public at the inception of the infections earlier this year, towards understanding the nature, mode of spread and control measures. In the whole, maintenance of sterility of Premises, Containments, Dwellings, Offices is the main objective of the Ministry’s Decontamination/Disinfection intervention in order for their users to be safeguarded from letting in the Virus and other microbes into their systems.
14. It is once more necessary to re-echo the need for Nigerian Citizens to adhere strictly to provisions of the COVID-19 control protocol as the main barriers of the virus spread. To this end, Hand hygiene, Respiratory hygiene, Avoidance of crowd, Physical distancing as well as terminal and concurrent decontamination/disinfection must continue to be adopted by all and sundry.
15. It is my firm conviction that decontamination/disinfection as acclaimed by international standards, is contributing immensely to the containment of the spread of Corona virus in Nigeria. I would like to appeal to Nigerians to embrace the safe utilization of Decontamination formulations and administration by engaging only licensed Environmental Health Practitioners for Decontamination/Disinfection Services as an efficient non pharmaceutical Corona control measure.
16. Against this backdrop, the Federal Ministry of Environment is thanking Mr. President for this giant stride which is targeted towards achieving wildlife conservation that is in tandem with United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and addressing internal security. We also appreciate the efforts of government in the fight against the spread of Covid-19 in the Country. It is our prayer and hope that this second wave of the Pandemic will be promptly controlled effectively.
We are grateful to the Media for your continuous support and cooperation.
Thank you and God Bless.Read More
To curtail the grave threat posed by climate change, the Federal Ministry of Environment has committed to involving key stakeholders and the general public in the revision of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), design, and implementation of climate change policy.
Minister of State for the Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, who made this known during a webinar on “Public Participation in Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Drafting and Implementation: Experiences around the World,” said Nigeria places emphasis on the NDC as a vehicle for communicating climate change action.
The event was organised by the Centre for Climate Change and Development (CCCD) of the Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike Ikwo (AE-FUNAI), Ebonyi State in collaboration with the World Resources Institute (WRI).
Under the current national climate change plans, known as NDC, Nigeria set an ambitious target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions unconditionally by 20per cent and conditionally by 45 per cent compared to the 2010 baseline.
Ikeazor said public participation was a necessary requirement for accommodating diverse views in the climate change decision-making process and, that stakeholders including the youth, women groups, academia, private sector, conservationists as well as commissioners of the environment in different geopolitical zones should encourage actions not only at the federal level but also at the subnational level.
She stated that the government had consistently shown leadership in climate action. “Federal Government has backed up this commitment with concrete actions, Nigeria ratified the Paris agreement and the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, making Nigeria the 144th country that was needed for the entry into force of the amendment in December 2020.”
According to Ikeazor, the ministry is open to ideas to improve processes in the design and implementation of the NDC. “Climate change is a challenge to everyone and it is the desire of the government that more people be interested and involved in climate change action and participate in the efforts that Nigeria is making, but also to take advantage of all the opportunities it presents, especially for our youth.”
The event, moderated by Director, CCCD of AE-FUNAI, Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke, had an independent consultant, Huzi Msheilla, who served as the facilitator of Nigeria’s NDC review and implementation processes, shedding some light on the level of engagement and incorporation of other stakeholders in accelerating climate action in Nigeria.
Other speakers included Prof. Donald Brown, the Winner of the 2019 UNESCO Avicenne Prize for Climate Change Ethics; Dr. Thomas Hale of Oxford University; Rachael Rico, Policy Advisor, Italian Climate Network; Dr. Malle Fofana of the Global Green Growth at the Republic of Korea; Ms Yamide Dragnet, Director, Climate Negotiations, World Resources Institute; and Jessica Cookie, the Policy Officer at PLAN International.Read More
According to the Minister, Nigeria must not continue to be a dumping ground for used electronics and other electrical appliances that does not only constitute a serious challenge to the environment, but also to healthy living of Nigerians.
She disclosed that Nigeria is in receipt of large volumes of Used Electrical Equipment (UEEE) that are under the guise of ‘bridging the digital divide’ with a large chunk discovered to be e-waste. She described E-waste as non-functional electrical/electronic equipment that have become hazardous to the environment and healthy lifestyles.
“This unsound waste is a fall-outs from the rapid transformation in the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) sector.
In 2018 alone, about 50 million tons of e-waste were generated globally, with only 35% officially reported as collected and recycled,” she said. Sharon Ikeazor, reiterated Federal Government’s readiness to give maximum support to e-waste management and its sustainability, saying Nigeria has already demonstrated its commitment to global efforts through the establishment of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) and promulgation of necessary regulations, among others.
She pointed out that the concern about e-waste stems from the fact that they contain several toxic and Chloreflourocarbons (CFCs), or Hydrochlorocarbons (HCFCs), which if not properly managed could harm the environment and human health. Ikeazor, while reaffirming the Ministry’s role as the focal point for e-waste management in the country, outlined Nigeria’s achievements in the sound management of e-waste, through the implementation of the EPR programme.
This according to her, has attracted international support under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded project on ‘Circular Economy Approaches for the Electronic Sector in Nigeria Project’.
“This project supports the collection and treatment of 300 tons of e-waste under the implementation framework of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), with NESREA as the executing Agency for the project,” said the Minister.
The International E-Waste Day (IEWD) movement started in 2018 and is celebrated annually on the 14th of October. IEWD stimulates awareness on effect of e-waste to arouses political will, attention and public action. Ikeazor, who described the theme for this year’s IEWD, “Education, which is devoted to the young people”, as apt, said ‘‘it is envisaged that young people will be educated on e-waste issues and in turn mentor a new generation of environmentally-responsible consumers.”Read More
The federal government has handed over some of the oil spill impacted sites in Ogoniland to the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) for scientific analysis and certification.
Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, said this recently at the handing over ceremony of the sites to NOSDRA in Alode community, Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State.
He said the sites were part of the 21 sites awarded to contractors in January 2019 for the batch one, phase one clean-up exercise.
Abubakar said the sites were remediated by the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), under the Federal Ministry of Environment, mandated to carry out the clean-up of Ogoni communities.
“We are happy that 582 community youths earned a living for the period that the contract lasted.
“Also, we are excited that additional 800 youths will be engaged in the second batch of the remediation exercise,” he said.
The minister said 36 contracts have been awarded to contractors and the contractors are now mobilising to the remediation sites.
He explained contractors should have completed their work on the sites but communal clashes, rains and outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in the country held up work.
“So, today is a pointer to the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to change the negative narratives of the people of the Niger Delta.
“President Buhari wants to change the negative narratives of the people of the Niger Delta, who have suffered over four decades of environmental pollution.
“It is a day of promise kept and kept to the letter in terms of standard and depth of work done,” he added.
Abubakar said the remediation sites handed over to NOSDRA, includes lots two, five, six and eight in Eleme LGA.
Others are lots 10 in Gokana and lots 17 and 18 in Tai Local Government Areas of the state.
“To this end, a total of 280,300 cubic meters of soil was treated from the seven lots using bio-remediation option.
“The bio-remediation option is a method that is environmentally friendly and effective in removing pollutants from the soil.
“The project has not only added value to the environment, youths from the oil impacted communities have been meaningfully engaged as well as earning salaries,” he said.
Also speaking, HYPREP Coordinator, Dr Marvin Dekil, said the agency had introduced to the less complex sites newer technologies in the field of remediation.
According to him, the newer technology include the use of bio-cell technology on lesser complex sites as against the use of integrated contaminated soil centre.
“The reason behind the bio-cell engineering is that the soil from the less complex sites can be treated immediately.
“It is also the reason that pollutants are not littered along the path of transportation from the point of excavation to the point of treatment,” Dekil explained.Read More
“We have met the compliance obligations under the protocol by achieving the 10% reduction of our Hydrochlorofuorocarbons importation from the baseline in 2015.
We are now on track to achieve further reduction of 35% consumption by the end of this year” The Minister stated that Nigeria signed the Montreal Protocol in 1988 and subsequently ratified all its related amendments and have been implementing the protocol’s Ozone Depleting Substances phase-out programme in Nigeria assisting over 600 large, small and medium scale enterprises in the Foam, Refrigeration and Air conditioning, Aerosols, Fire protection and solvent sectors to convert to Ozone friendly substances and technologies. Speaking further, Dr Abubakar re-affirm the commitment of his Ministry to cooperate and give necessary support towards the implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements that Nigeria is a party to.
“To demonstrate this, under my leadership, the upgrade of a one of two of such in Africa System House at Vitapour Nig. Ltd (a subsidiary of Vitafoam Nig. Ltd), for the formulation of Ozone-friendly systems in the manufacture of rigid polyurethane foam, was completed in 2019 and is ready for commissioning”.
He stated. He stressed that studies have shown that replacing climate potent gases creates an opportunity to increase the energy efficiency of cooling equipment by 10-50 per cent thereby significantly reducing energy cost to consumers and businesses.
Addressing the issue of climate action, the Minister enjoined Nigerians to be steadfast in their efforts to limit climate change impact even as the world grapple with the challenge of Covid-19. According to him, “as we deal with the impacts of the global pandemic, it is pertinent to be conscious of climate action as it could cause even more misery and disruption than Covid-19: we must therefore be resolute in our efforts to limit it.” He added that despite global challenge occasion by the outbreak of Covid-19 and its impact on the nation’s health and economy, the Federal Ministry of Environment remain resolute in its resolve to phase out Ozone Depleting Substances and activities, recognising the importance of the Refrigeration and Air-conditioning servicing sector in guaranteeing food security and availability of medicines through effective and efficient preservation as well as providing thermal comfort in hospitals and homes.
The Ministry of Environment undertook a study on Covid-19 implications on the Refrigeration and Servicing Sector in Nigeria, with the specific objective of identifying best practices when servicing Refrigeration and Air-conditioning equipment amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, describe the key hygiene methods to avoid infection and create trusting and safe environment for all personnel involved in the servicing as well as describe how the sector can contribute to providing a clean and virus free environment.
Delivering a goodwill message from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, Environment Expert, Oluyomi Banjo congratulated Nigeria for achieving 10% reduction of Ozone-depleting substance describing the nation has been proactive and exemplary. In his welcome remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Abel Olumyiwa Enitan stated that the Ministry will continue to utilize the opportunity provided by the Montreal Protocol and its Amendments to promote the adoption of Ozone and Climate-friendly technologies that will ultimately contribute to the socio-economic development of our dear nation.
“I urge you all to support the Ministry in achieving these lofty goals.” He said
Izuchukwu Onwughara, the Project Coordinator, Nigeria Environmental Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), in Abia has advised the government, groups, communities and individuals to adopt proactive measures in tackling flooding.
Onwughara in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria stressed the need for a proactive approach in flood management as “an efficient way to prevent the devastating impact of flooding”.
He said that the warnings issued by Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMeT) were based on empirical data and called for urgent action by Nigerians.
“NiMeT has given seasonal rainfall predictions for 2020. I urge people to take the warnings and precautions seriously because neglecting them would be at our own peril.
“We should transit from reactionary approach to preparedness because being able to prepare is a better response to flooding and its adverse effects.”
Onwughara advised property owners and developers to raise the foundation of buildings in flood-prone areas, desilt drains and avoid building on waterways to prevent flooding.
He also urged people to create green areas, describing the measure as another effective strategy to prevent flooding.
According to him, green areas will provide a terminal point for storm water and prevent surface runoff.
Onwughara called on relevant agencies to collaborate in the fight against flooding by ensuring that proper and approved building designs were used for town development.
He said that NEWMAP had commenced public enlightenment campaigns on the dangers of flooding and ways of preventing it, as well as collaborating with the Abia government to tackle flooding.
“We are trying to take stormy water away from low flood plain by using a tunnel to move the water to Aba River. This is the state government’s Umuagbai-Uratta project aimed at flood mitigation.
“We have also commenced a solid waste management programme aimed at helping in solid waste disposal because solid waste clogs drains,” Onwughara said.
Also, the Executive Secretary of Abia State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Sunday Jackson, said the agency had begun sensitisation of the people to create awareness to the looming flood disaster in the state.
Jackson told NAN that Abia was one of the 28 states on flood red alert as predicted by the Nigeria Hydrological Agency Services and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMeT).
He said that more than 60 communities that were flood-prone in the state would likely be affected by the downpour envisaged to happen between September and October across the federation.
He listed Umunneochi, Osisioma Ngwa, Obingwa, Isiala Ngwa, Umuahia North and Umuahia South, Ukwa East and Ukwa West as the local government areas that were at high risk of flooding.
He said, “Based on the predictions, SEMA and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had embarked on sensitisation in the seven local government areas to prepare them against the impending disaster.”
Jackson said that communities in those areas were being sensitised to be aware and observe the safety-net that would curtail impact of the disaster when it occurs.
“We are also emphasizing seriously that residents of these highly prone areas should evacuate from such places to safer areas,” he said.Read More
I am delighted to be part of this launch for Africa’s journey towards climate change resilience.
It is worthwhile to state here that one of the cardinal objectives of this present administration is to tackle the issue of climate change as unveiled by President Buhari in his inauguration speech in 2015. In achieving this objective, Nigeria prepared its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in the same year it pledged to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission by 20% unconditionally and a further 45% with international support (conditional).
As you may all know, our NDC was submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention Climate Change (UNFCCC) at COP 21 in Paris in 2015. This led to the adoption of the Paris Agreement which has been domesticated and ratified by the country. Consequently, we have developed Sectoral Action Plans which include Agriculture, Power, Oil & Gas, Transport and Industry.
We have also made efforts with regards to Adaptation action by developing a National Adaptation framework. We submitted a Readiness Support Proposal to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to advance our National Adaptation Plans (NAPs). This was approved. Towards, generating domestic climate finance we have issued two Green Bonds. Adaptation projects are among those the Bonds fund.
More adaptation-oriented action include the approval of our climate change and gender action plan. We plan to carry out include Vulnerability Mapping & Assessment for Nigeria. The objective of the assessment is to identify vulnerabilities and fashion out appropriate adaptation strategies for them.
Alongside the work of my ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management & Social Development has been created by Mr. President to address emergencies that arise as a result of climate change impacts. We know there is room for improvement.
Once again, I wish to remind us all to use this platform to catalyze the much needed adaption action, chart and pursue a definite course for securing regional and global financial support for those actions for Africa.
Basically we expect AfDB/GCA can help the continent by providing technological and technical strengthening to countries. Of course alongside facilitating access to “means of implementation”. We are open to partner on improving and expanding our Green Bond instruments, gender and youth inclusion in climate action.
The AfDB/GCA can do the following for the continent;
* Enable countries do ecosystem valuation which gives a fiscal contribution of Adaptation projects and enable buy-in by governments and communities;
* enabling the development and establishment of sustainable carbon markets in the region;
* Provide national and regional platforms to build capacities to bridge the technology and financial gaps, to develop impactful adaptation projects;
* match-make country projects with available funding; among other.
I appreciate this opportunity to give a remark at this occasion.
Thank you. Merci beaucoup. Obrigado.Read More
Following the announcement by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan of posting and redeployment of Federal Permanent Secretaries as approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, the new Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Environment, Mr Abel Olumuyiwa Enitan has assumed office, tasking staff of the Ministry to maintain the ethics of Federal Civil Service with professionalism and discipline.
Enitan who was redeployed from the Federal Civil Service Commission also emphasized on the need for collective efforts towards the success of the of the environment sector in line with the aspirations of President Buhari’s administration.
Speaking at a brief handing over ceremony in Abuja, Enitan said officials of the Ministry have been doing a great job going by the general progress recorded by the Ministry and the impact its programmes and policies have imparted on addressing the issues of Climate Change, the ecosystems and other environmental challenges in the country.
“Therefore, I am not here to re-invent the wheel but rather to work with you like a family to achieve the mandates of the ministry”, he stated.
He said his posting to the Federal Ministry of Environment is a privilege, pointing out that the Ministry is one whose policies affect positively on the nation and the lives of its people in every facet of live.
While calling for the full support of staff of the Ministry, he encouraged them to uphold the ethics of the Civil Service through hard work, discipline and respect for superiors no matter the challenges they may encounter in the course of discharging their duties.
Earlier, the Director of Planning, Research and Statistics of the Ministry Dr Bolatito Obisesan called on the Directors of the Ministry to extend their experiences and cooperation to the new Permanent Secretary so that they could both make the mandates of the Ministry to be more successful.
“We have been able to raise the Mandate of this Ministry to greater heights in the last few months when I was overseeing the office of the Permanent Secretary.
“This could be attributed to the loyalty, dedication and hard work of the Directors and Staff,” she noted.
Minister of State for the Environment, chief Sharon IKeazor made this known at the weekend, saying that her ministry has already embarked on environmental health and sanitation response campaign in 11 states of the Federation to ensure improvement in environmental sanitation of premises, abatement of nuisance, rodent control, food hygiene and safety.
According to her, Nigeria is currently experiencing increasing number of reported Lassa fever cases across the country.
The most recent situation report from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) of 16th January 2022 indicated 96 confirmed cases and 11 deaths from 3rd to 16th January, 2022 in 27 Local Government Areas across 11 States that include Bauchi, Edo, Ondo, Benue, Taraba, Kaduna, Plateau, Kogi, Cross River, Ebonyi and Oyo. This is in addition to the 510 confirmed cases and 102 deaths that occurred from January 2021 to 2nd January, 2022.
The Minister revealed that before the recent outbreak, the Ministry had taken proactive measures to improve the overall sanitation and hygiene situation in the country by establishing Sanitation Desks in all the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT to ensure proper monitoring and proactive measures on environmental health issues and concerns.
“This is in addition to the setting up of Environmental Health Surveillance Systems designed to strengthen cooperation between the states and Federal government on Environmental health and Sanitation issues which aids information/data gathering and sharing between the Federal, state and Local Governments.
“They are also involved in prevention and containment activities including surveillance/monitoring and reporting of Lassa fever cases and other environmental determinant diseases to the Federal Ministry of Environment headquarters. The Sanitation Desks are being replicated in all the 774 LGAs in the country,” she explained.
Ikeazor added that, the Federal Ministry of Environment over the years had collaborated with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), World Health Organisation (WHO) and other stakeholders to carry out activities to prevent and contain the perennial Lassa fever outbreaks in Nigeria
She stated that Environmental Health Officers in the Ministry, in collaboration with Sanitation Desks in the States and local government Environmental Health Officers are currently in the field implementing environmental sanitation response activities in Lassa fever affected states.
“As a Ministry, we remain committed to our mandate of pest and vector control in Nigeria. To this end, we are entrenching sustainable programmes focusing on eliminating and reducing breeding avenues for disease vectors which involve fostering collaboration with relevant stakeholders.
“Furthermore, we shall continue to develop capacity of Environmental Health Practitioners in the Federal, State and Local Government jurisdictions. State Ministries of Environment are hereby enjoined to develop comprehensive Lassa fever prevention programme that will include rodent infestation survey and deratization.
Ikeazor assured the general public that the Ministry remains committed to ensuring that the environment remains clean, healthy and safe for all.
The Lassa fever virus is transmitted by rodents (rats) which can be found in our environment including homes, motor parks, offices and even places of worship. This contributes largely to the risk of spread that occurs in Nigeria and other countries with similar ecological factors.
The Minister therefore called on members of the public to keep their surroundings clean, keep food away from rodents, store grains and other food stuff in rodent proof containers and cook all foods thoroughly before consumption.
She also advised residents to block rat hideouts, carry out deratization, put an end to the practice of eating rats, dry farm produce in hygienic manners by refraining from drying crops on the ground where rodents could freely run through; as Lassa fever is often associated with poor sanitary and hygiene practices with cases being recorded all year round.(END)Read More
In a practical demonstration of its commitment to the protection of the environment, human health and socio-economic development of Nigeria, the Federal Government has approved a new National BiosecuriAty Policy for the country.
Announcing the development, Minister of State for the Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor stated that the approval was given on Thursday at the special session of the Federal Executive Council meeting.
Ikeazor revealed that, “the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the National Biosecurity Policy and action plan 2022 – 2026 to ensure, among other things, biosecurity for the protection of the environment and human health from harmful biological agents and to protect our socio-economic development
“The Policy document aims to foster an integrated and holistic Biosecurity strategy that will be implemented through One-health approach for the prevention, early detection, rapid response to biothreats and recovery from biosecurity incidents.
"This Policy is to ensure synergy and harmonization among Biosecurity stakeholders for effective and efficient operations of the national biosecurity systems. It is to ensure that all aspects of National and International Agreement, Conventions, Guidelines and other instruments on biosecurity are duly taking into consideration. "
It could be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari has in July 2019, assented to an amendment of the National Biosafety Management Agency Act, 2015 mandating the NBMA to “put measures in place to ensure biosecurity in Nigeria”.
The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), in setting the stage for the implementation of the Presidential directive, and in recognition of the fact that biosecurity is a multisectoral discipline that cuts across several Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) convened a Biosecurity stakeholders’ consultative meeting in January 2020. This was to discuss and develop a befitting and workable national document and action plan to address all issues and concerns on biosecurity for the country.
At the meeting, it was unanimously agreed that effective synergy among stakeholders and introduction of emerging methodologies will promote an efficient prevention, preparedness, response and mitigation system against any bio-threat. Accordingly, it was resolved that a National Biosecurity Policy and Action Plan be developed.
The Minister explained that, “after going through several reviews, stakeholders validated the draft National Biosecurity Policy and Action Plan in September 2021, before it was presented to the Federal Executive Council for approval
“We are very pleased with this approval in the environment sector, which gives the country a proper, comprehensive and workable document to tackle Biosecurity issues and ensure that bio-threats are properly contained and even eliminated”. (END)
Saghir el Mohammed
Federal Ministry of Environment
As part of the Federal Government’s efforts to integrate clean cooking into the revised Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), stakeholders have worked together to provide a more robust clean cooking database, modelling for various access expansion scenarios as well as mitigation implications.
The document, released by the International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development (ICEED) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment, Heinrich Boell Foundation, World Resources Institute and Stockholm Environment Institute, will help Nigeria to meet its obligations to the Paris Agreement on climate change.
To this end, a workshop with the theme “Clean Cooking in Nigeria’s Revised NDC – ambition, mitigation implications and the way forward” was held last week, in Abuja to disseminate the wider range of research findings to stakeholders.
Speaking during the workshop, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Women Affair, Dr. Anthonia Ekpa, expressed excitement on the determination of the Federal Government to meet its climate change obligations by ensuring that Nigerian households convert from harmful cooking fuels such as fuelwood, charcoal and kerosene to cooking gas and efficient wood stoves.
According to Ekpa, “the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs is fully committed to supporting the actuallisation of clean cooking targets in the NDC. The ministry is seeking to expand access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services in Nigerian communities “, she remarked.
Already the federal government has announced a cooking gas expansion programme to reach 30 million households by 2025. As part of efforts to reach the rural areas, the government is also concluding plans to scale up the use of locally-made improved wood stove technologies.
As part of efforts to enhance Nigeria’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, the International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development (ICEED) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment has launched a number of studies to explore the opportunities for delivering clean cooking solutions as part of Nigeria’s ambition to scale up its commitment to the Paris climate agreement.
According to Executive Director of ICEED, Mr. Ewah Eleri, “expanding access to clean cooking fuels and technologies in Nigeria comes with multiple benefits. Universal access to clean cooking can save up to a million lives in Nigeria by 2030. WHO reports that Nigeria loses 94,300 lives yearly as a result of smoke from the kitchen. Reaching national targets on clean cooking will also help remove the over 30 million tonnes yearly carbon dioxide emissions from Nigerian kitchens and help restore the country’s forests,” he said.
One of the contributors to the clean cooking research, Adeola Eleri of the Energy Commission of Nigeria, said there is a strong linkage between the level of poverty and choice of cooking fuels and technologies, especially among the poorest segment of the society.
“The poorer a household is, the more likely they will choose fuelwood for cooking. While richer households often choose cleaner fuels and technologies, they often combine fuel types according to their various cooking needs”, According to Eleri, “other factors influencing the choice of fuels include their affordability, availability and accessibility. However, for the federal government to reach its target among the poorest, especially in rural areas there is a need for bold policy support mechanisms”, she concluded.
While poverty is apparently a major obstacle to expanding access to clean cooking, several countries with the lower gross domestic product than Nigeria seem to have made more progress than Nigeria, says Precious Onuvae, a contributor to the study.
Stakeholders lamented the lack of financing and suitable technologies as major obstacles to reaching the clean cooking targets of the country.
A contributor to the study and a lecturer at the University of Ibadan, Temilade Sesan submitted that the problem is much deeper than that. According to her, “Nigeria lags behind in access to clean cooking because the interest of influential private sector businesses and the government does not necessarily align with the need to provide clean cooking to the poorest households. Today, the alignment between private business interest with the interest of the government to deepen the use of cooking gas is enjoying political support and creating momentum for the cooking energy market. This, unfortunately, does connect with the interest of the poorest households”, she concluded.
However, the Paris Climate Change Agreement apparently has created new opportunities for poor people in Nigeria to be part of the climate solution. Article nine of the Agreement provides for developing countries to leverage climate finance to cover the cost of greenhouse gas mitigation efforts. By making clean cooking a central part of Nigeria’s renewed commitment to the Paris Agreement, averted emissions from millions of Nigeria’s kitchen can attract compensation from developed countries. This so-called carbon credits can help offset the cost of cleaner cooking fuels or improved wood stoves. By either removing or reducing the high cost of accessing these technologies and fuels, the Paris Agreement will help breath fresh air in millions of Nigeria’s kitchens and help the country meet our national obligations to the Paris Climate Agreement.
Another researcher, Okey Ugwu provided examples of the activities that will help Nigeria attain its clean cooking goals. Some of these projects include the building of training centres for the construction of efficient wood stoves in all six geopolitical zones. On the supply of cooking gas, he proposed the setting up of at “least one cylinder manufacturing plant in each geopolitical zone, establish at least 7,400 skid plants by 2025 and build new LPG terminals in northern Nigeria”, he concluded.
Ewah Eleri thanked the Federal Ministry of Environment for building a strong partnership in revising Nigeria’s commitment to the Paris Climate Change Agreement. He also thanked the NDC Partnership, Heinrich Boell Foundation and the World Resources Institute for funding the research.Read More
Yesterday, the Honourable Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, hosted the Honourable Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Pauline Tallen. He also received a group of Ogoniland traditional rulers, who were on a courtesy visit to the Ministry.
The Ogoniland traditional rulers, led by HRH, Amb. Dr. Appolus Chu Oneh-Eh Nchiax, the Egbere Emere Okori Eleme of Eleme Kingdom of Ogoniland, were in the Ministry to specifically thank the Honourable Minister for his focused leadership and unwavering commitment to the hydrocarbon remediation process, otherwise known as Ogoni Cleanup, taking place in Ogoniland.
In his remarks, Dr. Abubakar stated that the Buhari Administration’s pragmatic approach to environmental sustainability has produced significant outcomes, not only in the Ogoniland cleanup, but across the entire country. The Minister reiterated the unflinching commitment of the Federal Government to the general improvement in the ecosystem and means of livelihood of the Ogoni people and indeed Nigerians in general.Read More
Environmentalists have called on the Federal Government to adopt fresh measures for the mitigation of climate change impacts in the post COVID-19 era.
They said Nigeria is plagued with diverse ecological problems that have been linked to climate change, hence, the need for action. According to them, the effect of climate change is making the environment warmer, dryer and conducive for pests and disease in the country.
The experts spoke at the 2020 International Virtual Conference of the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Pollution Mitigation SETPOM, themed: “Interconnectedness: Implications for Covid-19 and Environmental Concerns.”
Setting the tone for discussion, SETPOM President, Dr. Nnamdi Amaeze, who said the environment is rich in opportunities that can lead to employment of youths, called for its conservation and protection for generations unborn.
He said the conference is an opportunity for academics, industrialists, regulators, researchers and students to interact on environmental issues of local and global concerns.
Director and Chief Executive, Centre for Atmospheric Research, National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Prof. Babatunde Rabiu, said climate change has altered the natural hydrological calendar to the extent that life cycle of most insects and pests are no longer controlled or disrupted with the onset of rainfall.
In his keynote address, Prof. Rabiu said the inconsistency in rainfall pattern has strengthened the lifespan of those biological pests and resulted in the destruction of forest and agricultural crops.
“Rainfall is becoming unpredictable and decreasing on the average, which also differ significantly from 1971-2005,” he said.
Coastal region, Rabiu said, has experienced slightly increasing rainfall since the early 1970s and August break (short-dry-season) is currently being experienced more in July as against August in the Savannah ecology. He added, “the Southern ecological zone of Nigeria largely known for high rainfall is currently confronted by irregularity in the rainfall pattern.”
He further revealed that the Northern zone faces the threat of desert encroachment at a very fast rate per year, while coastal areas are becoming vulnerable to incessant floods, destruction of mangrove ecosystems and transmission of water borne diseases that lead to displacement and communal crisis.
Speaking on indoor air pollution, the Manager, Community Relations, Addax Petroleum, Julius Brown, said prior COVID-19, about 4.3 million people died yearly from exposure to indoor air pollutants, while COVID era is expected to increase the number.
His words: “Out of the number of exposure to household air pollutants, 34 per cent perish from stroke, 26 per cent died of heart disease, 22 per cent from, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, while pneumonia and lung cancer account for 12per cent and six per cent of the deaths respectively.
He stressed that women and young children, who spend most time at home, are more vulnerable as more than 50 per cent of pneumonia deaths among children under five years are linked to household air pollution.
To mitigate indoor air pollution, Brown called for avoidance of smoking indoors, keeping burning of fossil fuel outdoors and use of a dehumidifier and/or air conditioner to reduce moistures.Read More
The sites are among the first 21 sites awarded to contractors by the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) for clean-up in Ogoniland.
The seven sites are Lots 2,5,6 and 8 in Eleme Local Govenrment Area; Lot 10 in Gokana Local Government Area; and Lots 17 and 18 in Tai Local Government Area.
The minister, while handing over the completed sites during a colourful ceremony, yesterday, in Nkeleoken-Alode community in Eleme Local Government Area, expressed delight that the contractors that handled the sites were able to complete them for onward handover to NOSDRA for certification, and thanked the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, for his support to the project.
He said after certification by NOSDRA, the sites would thereafter be handed over to President Muhammadu Buhari, who initiated the clean-up project in the first place.
Abubakar further thanked the people of the various communities in Ogoniland, particularly the youths for their cooperation and support to the clean-up project, stressing that the completion of the seven sites is a pointer to the fact that Buhari was determined to change the negative narratives of the people of the Niger Delta who have suffered over four decades of environmental pollution.
“It is a day of promise kept and kept to the letter in terms of standard and depth of work done”, he said, adding that, “a total of 208, 300 cubic metres of soil was treated from the seven lots using bio-remediation option, a method that is environmentally friendly and effective in removing pollutants from the soil.”
He said so far, progress has been made in the clean-up project but hinted that the Federal Ministry of Environment still yearns for more progress, as it does not want the clean-up to be done haphazardly.
“It is a project we want to ensure that it is done very well,” the minister said.
Abubakar further indicated that the clean-up project has created over 2,,000 direct jobs for Ogoni youths, stressing that the contractors would have completed their work earlier but for some factors that slowed down the pace of work.
“As a project, we would need your support and cooperation to achieve set goals, which goals are for the benefit of the Ogoni people,” he said, and appealed to host communities to the remediation sites to allow contractors to do their work without undue interference.
He said HYPREP is already training 1,200 Ogoni women in alternative livelihood skills in agro-allied ventures being handled by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNTIAR), adding that the first batch of 400 women drawn from the four Ogoni LGAs is ongoing.
He assured Ogoni people that “We will sustain progress on the clean-up of impacted sites and all other recommendations contained in the UNEP Report”.
On his part, the Project Coordinator of HYPREP, Dr Marvin Dekil, thanked the minister and the Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, and the community leaderships as well as staff of HYPREP for their support.
He said the minister’s commitment and input gave a new impetus to the clean-up project, “thus, making us come thus far on the project”, stressing that he (the minister) has left indelible marks on the project that can be copied for similar projects elsewhere.
He hinted that the bio-cell technology adopted for the clean-up of less impacted sites is a success that could be adopted for remediation elsewhere.
“In awarding the contracts for remediation, we factored in the training of community workers in basic remediation skills as a way of developing local manpower so that the skills acquired can be used elsewhere at the end of their contracts,” he said, adding that technical assistants for the project which constitute over 90 percent of the workforce are Ogoni young scientists were trained in Switzerland.
The minister and his entourage, before handing over the completed sites paid a courtesy visit to the King of Eleme Kingdom, Emere Philip Osaro Obele, who assured that Eleme people would give 110 per cent support to the clean-up project.
Among those on the minister’s entourage included the Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor; Director General of NOSDRA, Alhaji Idris O. Musa; the Cross River State Commissioner for Environment, Hon Mfon Bassey; and a host of other personalities.
Ikeazor, in a speech, urged HYPREP to engage more community people, and expressed joy that a reference laboratory to facilitate NOSDRA’s work is located in Port Harcourt, which she commissioned in January this year.Read More
The federal government has activated 60,000 Environmental Health Officers, who will act as volunteers, to mount surveillance and enforce Presidential Task Force (PTF) guidelines for schools reopening across the nation.
Last week, the federal government through the Presidential Task Force on COVlD-19, decided to reopen schools which have remained closed since February as a measure to contain the spread of the disease in the country.
The schools reopening however is to be done in strict compliance with the directives of the PTF.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja on Monday, the Minister of Environment, Mahmood Abubakar, said 60,000 of such volunteers will cover schools in all the 774 local governments in the federation.
The 60,000 environmental health emergency volunteer corps, according to the minister, will be working with other stakeholders at the sub national levels in accordance with the said guidelines for the safe reopening of schools.
Abubakar said the ministry will monitor compliance with prescribed standards through a network of monitoring and evaluation teams across the nation and there will be sanctions for disobedience to the guidelines.
According to him, ”It is the duty of Environmental Health Officers to prioritize the immediate setting up of School Environmental Health Clubs where none existed prior to COVID-19 pandemic and as well resuscitate those not properly functioning. These clubs essentially run by selected learners will help in implementing directives of the teacher driven School Hygiene Committees.
”It is also appropriate to advise school managers to introduce Hygiene and Sanitation Prefectship to ensure proper compliance and daily guidance of learners. In the same vein, Environmental Health Officers working in the states and local governments are hereby directed to key into the training of teachers, administrators, and other education personnel on safety and hygiene measures namely disinfection, safe distancing, hand hygiene, use of face masks/shields, respiratory hygiene and Waste management.
“They will also play vital role in the development of information, education and communication (IEC) materials on hygiene and sanitation for use around the premises and in classrooms. EHOs should also see to the provisions for safe and hygienic school feeding arrangements and facilities as food hygiene is paramount in the safe school operation with particular attention to safe distancing in cafeterias. Equally important is for the EHOs to ensure food handlers and vendors in schools are regularly monitored for conformity with hygienic practices and behaviour while feeding learners from farm to fork.
”Furthermore, in accordance with the guidelines, environmental health officers in the federal and state Ministries of Environment as well as those in the LGA Environmental Health Departments shall be part of the Joint Assessment Teams for Safe Reopening of Schools and Learning Facilities being part of the Authorized Assessors.
“Additionally, Environmental Health Departments at all national levels are hereby directed to work collaboratively with respective Education Ministries and Departments to succeed.”Read More
After an initial effort that eventually turned out to be a ‘false start’, a fresh initiative has been unfolded to support city and local governments facing barriers to financing climate-smart projects.
Ministers and directors of governments of Germany and Luxembourg together with the World Bank, European Investment Bank, and Global Covenant of Mayors launched the initiative known as the City Climate Finance Gap Fund through a webnair last week.
It paves the way for low-carbon, resilient, and livable cities in developing and emerging economies by unlocking infrastructure investment at scale.
The world’s developed countries have committed to mobilise $100 billion a year by 2020, from public and private sources, to help developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change and reduce their emissions.
The latest accounting of climate finance shows there is a gap of about $70 billion. Closing that gap is critical to building the trust necessary to reach a robust deal at the international climate summit next year.
The fund will be filling a gap in available project support, and offers technical and advisory services to assist local leaders in prioritising and preparing climate-smart investments and programmes at an early stage, with the goal of accelerating preparation, enhancing quality, and ensuring they are bankable.
It comes as an initiative of the governments of Germany and Luxembourg together with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCOM), in partnership with several other key players in the climate finance arena (including C40, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance).
Expected to be implemented by the World Bank and the European Investment Bank, the fund was announced at the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 as a key initiative of the Leadership for Urban Climate Investment (LUCI), which promotes financing for ambitious urban climate action until 2025.
With a target capitalisation of at least €100 million, the fund will accelerate investments supporting cities in developing and emerging economies, as they determine goals and objectives for low-carbon and well-planned urbanization.
The fund investment is aiming to unlock at least €4 billion of final investment in climate-smart projects and urban climate innovation.
Core donors to the fund are Germany (€45 million – including €25 million from the Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, and €20 million from the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) and Luxembourg (€10 million).
“What cities do today will forever shape our climate tomorrow,” said Mari Pangestu, World Bank Managing Director for Development Policy and Partnerships.
“Cities in developing countries urgently need resources to realize their climate ambitions. Through the Gap Fund, the World Bank is supporting low-carbon, resilient, inclusive, healthy, creative, and sustainable communities for all.”
Cities are on the frontlines of the climate emergency and currently account for around 70 per cent of global CO2 emissions. Urban centers’ share of emissions is expected to grow as 2.5 billion people migrate from rural to urban areas by 2050.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, it was estimated that more than $93 trillion in sustainable infrastructure investment was needed by 2030 to meet climate goals.
As cities strive to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19, investments in clean energy, climate-resilient water and sanitation, and urban regeneration projects will play an important role in eliminating pollution, improving local food systems, and creating green jobs.
They will also lead to cleaner, healthier, and more equitable communities – conditions that can help prevent future pandemics.
Climate investment projects are an indispensable opportunity to improve lives of the millions who live in cities around the world. However, cities frequently lack the capacity, finance, and support needed for the early stages of project preparation – especially in developing and emerging economies.Read More
Climate change, if not addressed, will make COVID-19 pandemic a child’s play, the Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, has warned.
He stated that COVID-19 can only kill humans, but climate change can kill humans and their environments.
Abubakar, who spoke during a tour of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Lagos, called on Nigerians to give adequate attention to mitigation of climate change effects, adding that the administration was committed to planting 25 million trees yearly to mitigate the effects of climate change.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was committed to raising Nigeria’s biodiversity ranking through increased forestation and other strategies.
He said the kick-off of the government’s Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project in Ogoni, Rivers State, and erosion control projects across the nation, showed the country’s seriousness in environmental protection.
The minister said the Federal Government has an environment master plan, which is reviewed regularly to meet climate and environment realities.
He said the ministry had concluded a national policy on plastic that would be presented to the Federal Executive Council.
NCF’s Director-General, Dr Muntari Aminu-Kano described the minister’s appointment as putting a square peg in a square hole.
“This is one of the few times we have had an environmentalist appointed as the environment minister,” Aminu-Kanu said.
He lauded the minister’s efforts in environmental protection, and pledged the support of NCF in protecting the country’s environment.Read More
VISIT OF THE NATIONAL AUTOMOTIVE DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL (NADDC) TO THE FEDERAL MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT
Visit of the National Automotive Design and Development council (NADDC) to the Federal Ministry of Environment
COMMEMORATION THE 2021 HAND WASHING DAY WITH THE THEME “OUR FUTURE IS AT HAND – LETS MOVE FORWARD TOGETHER”
Honorable Minister of Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor