The Nigerian Government has launched the Waste-To-Wealth Programme, Using Appropriate Technology in the North East political zone, aimed at eradicating poverty and creating employment opportunities.
Speaking during the flag off programme in Gombe, the Minister of Science and Technoogy, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, said the programme, if properly executed, would reduce crime and create jobs in various sectors of waste management.
Dr. Onu said the programme would also serve as a platform to enlighten the youths on the adverse effects of improper waste management and the need to cultivate good waste management habits.
“The W2W programme will make the difference in our search for a new Nigeria. A Nigeria that will deploy science and technology to feed her citizens and enhancing capacity for export trade,” Dr. Onu said.
Meanwhile, the Gombe State Government has donated four hectares of land to ensure the successful take-off of the programme and has appointed a working committee for the realization of the objectives of the programme,
“To ensure the successful take-off of the programme, four (four) hectares of lands have been provided by the government. A working Committee has already been appointed and is working austously to ensure the realization of its objectives,” said Governor Dankwambo.
Waste production and its improper management have been described as one of the causes of health related illnesses and environmental hazards in Nigeria.
This, according to experts in environmental sciences should not be so, because of the positive enormous potentials waste holds.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, who was represented by the Director of Administration and Finance, Alhaji Ibrahim Yusuf, said it was important for waste management to be restored and made use of for the economic benefit of the people, through appropriate technologies.
The waste-to-wealth programme is to be replicated in the remaining five states in the North-East, with the resultant effect of cleansing the environment and provide employment opportunities, as well as the reduction of crime.
It is targeted at achieving a sustainable end to end solution for a National integrated waste-to-wealth management system in the country, using appropriate technologies through a coordinated national plan, orientation and strategy.
The Permanent Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Mrs Belema Wakama, who was represented by Mr. Isaac Anu, said waste generated at one end, was a raw material at another.
The Gombe State Governor, Dr. Ibrahim Dankwambo, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Charles Iliya, said the state shared similar efforts with the rest of its sister states in the North-East, which is aimed at wealth creation and poverty reduction.
There were commitments from Adamawa, Bauchi and Taraba States to embrace the waste-to-wealth programme.
The flag-off was done in Gombe, because, according to the minister, Gombe State is blessed with abundant natural resources which include uranium, gypsum and limestone, as well as rich agricultural resources.
There were also representatives from Bauchi, Adamawa, Taraba, Yobe and Borno states, who pledged their government’s commitments to participate in the waste-to-wealth programme.