Noting the challenges presently being experienced on the rehabilitation of the militants, Odey assured that Government is committed to the implementation of the Niger Delta Regional Master Plan.
Speaking on the theme of the workshop “Promoting low carbon, resource efficient in Nigeria Economy” Odey said the crusade for green economy is a global issue saying, this is the only way for humanity to tame the ever rising emission of anthropogenic gases. ”
Acknowledging that the country has consistently supported the global green initiative, he said that Nigeria’ sEnvironmental governance policy initiative on green economy is focused on new investments in renewable energies, clean technologies and sustainable food production, adding that the country has evolved sound policies toward the reduction of greenhouse emissions as part of our mitigation measures.
The Minister further said that transition to low carbon economy is possible without sacrificing the benefits of economic growth and rising prosperity. Technologies which deliver low-carbon energy abound while opportunities to increase the efficiency with which we use energy are huge.
In his speech at the occasion, the Chairman, Board of Trustee, Mr. Bethel Amadi said that the organisation was established in view of the outcome of COP 15 in Copenhagen which made it imperative to look for homegrown solutions to the challenges of climate change.
He added that the organisation also has eight cardinal programmes which it intended to pursue to achieve its objectives. These include Small Group Tree Planting Initiative (SGTP), Briquttes-Alternative to Fire Wood initiative (B-ATFW), Green Wall Sahara Vulnerability Analysis Initiatives (GWSVA) and Green Oil and Gas Mandate (GOGAM) among others.
Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, who was represented by Mr. Gogo Charles, Commissioner for Budget and Planning delivered an inaugural lecture at the occasion.
Meanwhile in another development the Minister of Environment, Mr. John Odey has reiterated the Ministry’s preparedness to continue to promote valuable partnerships with the National Assembly, States and the Private Sector in order to combat environmental problems facing the country.
He stated this in his remarks while declaring open a workshop on Cactus Opuntia in Abuja.
Mr. Odey noted that this collaboration is already yielding results as the Ministry is already working with a number of other private individuals and companies in waste management and eliminating ozone depleting substances.
The Minister said ”Strenghtening the involvement of the private sector in the development of our dry lands can therefore contribute to meeting our targets of food security and poverty reduction and enhanced agricultural productivity as the principal means of income creation and wealth creation”.
On the Presidential Afforestation programme, Mr. Odey stated that the technical committee has identified Jathropha, Cactus, Nym, Mahogany, Teak, Gmelina (Iroko) and obeche among others to be planted across the country.
He also announced that the Federal government has approved grants to some research institutions for research and studies to support the afforestation programme.
Speaking at the occasion, the Tunisian ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Mouncef Gouja commended the effort, of the organisers and expressed his happiness on the workshop because of the mutual benefit it will provide for both countries.
In her remarks, the Chairman;, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, Senator Grace Bent also gave kudos for the organisers and urged the Federal Ministry of Environment to provide more details on the project so as to receive legislative backing.
Speaking on behalf of the benefitting frontline states, Barrister Makaji Dogo, who is also the Commissioner for Environment Gombe State, commended the Ministry for the project and expressed their support and willingness to cooperate with the federal government for its success.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Environment, Mr. John Odey has inaugurated a 9 man Inter-Agency Committee headed by Dr. (Mrs) Ngeri Benebo, Director General, National Environmental Standards, Regulatory and Enforcement Agency (NESREA), to look into ways of lifting the ban imposed on Nigeria by the International Convention on Trade on Endangered Species (CITES) 5 years ago. The committee has two months to submit its report.