ABUJA – Aanu Basil, an environmentalist, has urged Nigerians to exploit the abundant potential inherent in waste products to create wealth for themselves and grow the nation’s economy.
Basil, who is the Deputy Director in charge of Marine Pollution Contaminant Clean-Up and Remediation in the Federal Ministry of Environment, gave the advice in an interview with newsmen in Abuja.
She said that the ministry was working hard to encourage the public and private sectors to collaborate toward exploiting the abundant opportunities inherent in the environment for economic development.
“We are advocating private partnership; when private people come into the environment they see the environment as a source and template for economic development; they will be able to zero into it.
“And we are also trying to sensitise general masses to see that there is wealth in waste, and there is wealth in the environment depending on how they use the environment to their own economic advancement.“
The deputy director said that the ministry was implementing programmes that would help create more awareness on the significance of the green industry to the environment.
According to her, the green industry refers to the anti-pollution measures usually taken to help prevent environmental pollution and increase economic activities in a sustained or regular basis without losing the value of the environment or putting the environment at risk of pollution.
Basil advised Nigerians to ensure proper disposal of waste products to reduce the risk of polluting and endangering the environment.
She said that most of the waste products disposed of could be re-used or recycled to generate revenue, boost agricultural yield, create employment opportunities and protect the environment.
The environmentalist said that the ministry had established 26 plastic recycling plants in various states, adding that all of them had begun operation.
She said: “The Ministry has so many programmes on it; its mandate is to be sure that pollution is prevented.