The Niger State Environmental Protection Agency (NISEPA) says efforts are underway to introduce a tax for sewage collection in the state.
Speaking in Minna, Mr Lucky Barau, the General Manager of NISEPA, said that the proposed tax for sewage collection would enable the agency to scale up its services.
According to him, the state generates about 100,000 tonnes of solid waste annually, which has to be effectively disposed of in order to avoid environmental and public health hazards.
“We have to do this because if we don’t properly manage our waste, we will someday have to compete with waste for spaces to build houses. At least 32 tipper-load of garbage are disposed on a daily basis in Minna and the state generates 100,000 tonnes of solid waste every year,’’ he said.
However, Barau said the agency had prosecuted more than 250 persons for various environmental offences between January and April this year.
“No fewer than 250 persons across the state have been prosecuted from January to April this year. We have a mobile court that prosecutes offenders and those found guilty are either fined or given prison terms or both,’’ he said.
According to him, the offences include open defecation, indiscriminate dumping of refuse and wrong channelling of waste water.
The NISEPA boss warned the residents against open burning of plastic wastes, saying that they had chemical additives which were harmful when inhaled.
“We always warn people not to burn waste plastics in the open because they have chemical additives, which when burnt openly, are released into the atmosphere. Also, the by-products of some of these wastes are carcinogenic, meaning that they can cause cancer,’’ he said.
Barau, nonetheless, reiterated the agency’s commitment to protecting the environment which, in the long run, amounted to protecting human lives.