Outgoing Minister of Environment tasks government on new headquarter

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By Zeniat Abubakar, Abuja

The outgoing Minister of Environment, Mr. Mohammed Abdullahi has called for urgent steps towards providing a permanent headquarter for the ministry.

Mr. Abdullahi made the call at the handing over ceremony of the Ministry to the new Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Mr. Ibrahim Yusufu, in Abuja the nation’s capital.

He said providing headquarters for the ministry would help the staff to have more suitable and conducive environment to operate.

‘’I want to enjoin you to pursue the issue of the headquarters of the ministry so that the ministry can have a one shop kind of office where it has virtually every department of the ministry i have indicated my current discussion that i had with the outgoing minister of agriculture, whether there’s a need for us to get their building they are vacating, i believe that some kind of swap arrangement have be made between us, the ministry of agriculture under the President’s approval, so that you can have an opportunity to relocate and have an independence in terms of realisation of your office space, as it is now where we are we are squatting.’’ He said.

The Minister, noted that the ministry has provided effective leadership in galvanizing stakeholders towards having Nigeria’s decisions at Conference of parties, COPs.

He urged the incoming Minister to use the lesson learnt from Cop 27 effectively to prepare Nigeria towards COP 28 taking place in United Arab Emirates this year.

‘’We had a very good share last year in COP 27, I made note here in terms of the need for any cooperation of COP 28 coming up in UAE, this year around November, we hope that lesson learnt on Cop 27 will be use effectively to prepare Nigeria towards COP 28 to have a good effective representation, on this note I have a handover note here for the Permanent Secretary, I effectively gave a rundown of activities when i resume here in last year April I gave a background of the activities of the Ministry providing the set up of the ministry in terms of administration, achievement of Ministries in terms of policies, the last policies that was approved was just last month (April ) the National Policy Antimicrobial Resistance for the environment sector, i presented the memo to the Federal Executive Council and was approved’’ He said.

The outgoing Minister, further urged the new Permanent Secretary to ensure a smooth transfer of the Ogoni cleanup exercise by HYPREP to UNIOPs by the ending of this year.

‘’most importantly I want to highlight is that HYPREP was established to implement the United Nations Environment Programmes and recommendations in terms of remediation of the Ogoni cleanup exercise, HYPREP has be the partners in terms providing that supervising role and technical assistance but they have given notice that they will leave by the end of this year, but under the auspices of the UN we were able to broker some kind of arrangement with UNEP and UNIOPs, so UNIOPs is going to take over from December as at today we are into negotiation with UNIOPs in terms of the conditions for them to work with HYPREP towards implementing UNIOPs recommendation.’’ He explained.

While presenting the handing over notes to the new Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, the outgoing Minister said that the handover note would help and guide the incoming Minister in consolidation of what his administration has done in the last thirteen month.

He also stressed that ministry under his watched has made a great significant in the areas of forestry, reclamation of degraded land, Climate Change, pollution control, environmental governance and re-appointment of DGs of Agencies and members of board of directors under the Ministry.

The new Permanent Secretary Mr Ibrahim Yusufu said he is ready to work together with staff of the Ministry to achieve result that will promote the Ministry to the next level.

‘’I have three categories from what he told me that are things that he has done already, this will sustain some are in process will make sure they are done through. Others are yet to get started. We’ll start them and place them with their cooperation. I’m worker friendly so we’re going to work together to achieve a result with your cooperation.’’ He said.

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