The quest to develop Edo State and make it one of the cleanness and neatness state in the country has held a 2-day workshop organized by Edo State government under the leadership of Mr. Godwin Obaseki to address all environmental issues confronting the state.
Obaseki since assuming office as the executive governor of Edo State on Saturday 12th of November 2016 has shown his commitment towards cleaning the state and utilizing the waste by turning it into wealth and a source of employment generation for the people of the state.
Due to his determination he visited the Ihuweniro dump site at the by-pass to physically inspect the site and two other proposed site in the state and thereafter spoke to journalist on the readiness of his administration to turn waste in to wealth in the state and thereby creating jobs for the teeming youths of the state.
Showing his commitment his government received the management of Benson Idahosa University (BIU) here in the Capital City of the state led by the president of the institution Bishop Feb Idahosa to deliberate on how to partner and collaborate to utilize waste in the state and turning it into electricity their by creating employment for the teeming youths of the state who are unemployed there by fulfilling his electioneering promises of creating job for the people of the state.
In that meeting, the governor said, “If you have been following my activities, I personally went to the dump site at the by-pass and two of the proposed new dump sites which we are preparing to see things for myself. Waste disposal is an issue for us and it is something we need to articulate properly and if you have the resources to support us we will appreciate it. During that dump site visit, I did point out that we are considering investment from investors who are interested in converting waste to wealth, your proposal fits clearly with our plans. What I expect you to do is to commit it to writing because this is government business and you will get response from us, looking forward to going into MOU with you”.
“Within the next months, we are going to unveil our environmental strategy for the state and we are going to be lunching major environmental campaign because it is our goal to make Edo State and Benin City the cleanliness capital in this country. The strategy when unveil will involved massive citizens participation. We will be counting on your support when we unveil that strategy”.
The Vice Chancellor of the University Prof. Ernest Izevbigie said the Institution have identified areas designated for waste disposal in the state and ready to partner with the state government to turn waste into wealth thereby developing the state.
He said the Institution have found a partner that is ready to finance the project and the state government will spend zero naira as all it requires is to give them access to the dump site and the rest will be history.
“If given the approval, we are ready to build a bio-reactor that will act as artificial stomach to digest all the carbon based materials. We can convert those wastes into wealth by generating power (electricity) from those wastes. It is called waste to wealth management programme. We will use that to generate income for the state; we can create employment in line with the vision of your administration”.
True to the governor’s words which is his bond his administration brought Participants, expert ,professionals and Stakeholders in the field of Environment together in Randekhi Royal Hotel in Benin City the Edo State Capital for an environmental workshop with the theme: ‘’Enhancing Environmental Governance for sustainable Development’’ to deliberate and brainstorm on how to sustain and manage the environment prudently to increase the living standards of the people in the state and making the state one of the cleanness in the federation.
Delivering a key note address at the workshop Obaseki disclose that our survival as human unavoidably depends on the stability and wellness of the environment as well as sustainable planning and development. He said Edo state has less than 20 percent of his forest reserve left and the consequent impact of this manifest on us as we see flooding, gully erosion everywhere saying that ensuring a sustainable environment is key to promoting growth and development of a nation and creating a sustainable future for the next generations.
“The deliberations on environmental sustainability have taken a new shape and heights in our national discuss, there is even greater interest in global conversation as to what to do with the environment and how to link it with the issues of growth and development. Unlike in the past, the new thinking dwells on how to sustain our environment”.
He said that the issue of environment sustainability had long been treated in silence without considering the effect it will have on the growth and development of the nation and future generations, adding that there was need to deliberate on how to sustain the environment from further degradation through effective policies and environmental reforms.
Obaseki hinted that his administration was poised to creating an enabling environment that will increase the well being of the people and enable business to thrive. “Our government thought it wise to create an enabling environment that will improve the well being of peoples’ business, access and ensure a sustainable future for the next generation. My administration’s determination is to make Edo the cleanest state in the country. We plan to achieve this through improved standards in waste management, improve access to portable water and public private investment in environment management.
He noted that Environmental management and protection was the responsibility of every citizen, he said that his administration would encourage voluntary compliance to environmental laws.
The Chairman of the workshop and former governor of Cross River state, Donald Duke, who saw the workshop as being timely, mentioned that if the environment was clean, investors would be attracted to the state and there would be access to portable water and job opportunities among others.
He also noted that efforts to make Edo State a reference point for environmental sustainability might be unachievable without support and partnership from private organizations and individual input. He said government policies on environment would be inefficient if the people were not properly carried along.
Duke said, “Government may come up with all sorts of policies, but if the people you gather do not take ownership of the policies, the system would not work. The people must appreciate what you are doing, believing that it is good for them. It should not only be the government’s programme, but also theirs”.
The chairman thanked the governor for the laudable initiative, adding that there was need to sensitize the people and educate them on the state government’s strategic plan to sustain and manage the environment.
The Chairman Strategic planning committee of Edo State Government Prof. Julius Ihonvbere the Obaseki’s administration place premium on the environment because of the many challenges she faced like flooding, erosion, deforestation, illegal and wrong disposal of waste including medical waste and the danger they pose to human existence apart from the negative tourist impression it creates.
He said the state government the organizers of the workshop has invited expert, professionals’, stakeholders that have already managing waste and those managing environmental policies in other states before.
“We want to learn from their experiences on how to handle environmental issues and challenges. The workshop is on environmental governance because at the end of the day it is partnership between the governments, private sectors, communities and individuals that will lead to the kind of environment we look for”.
He said the goal of the Obaseki led administration hope to achieve a cleaner environment at the end of the workshop.