Nigeria proposes law to ban plastic production, safeguard environment
London, Feb. 25, 2020 (AltAfrica)-The Nigerian National Assembly in collaboration with the Ministry of environment is proposing a bill that will prohibit the production of plastic in the Country.
The bill will also see to the effective management of marine litters along Nigeria’s coastline.
Speaking at the launch of the Maritime Action Plan in Lagos, a member of the Senate Committee on Marine Transport, Senator Tolulope Odebiyi who drafted the bill said that the National Assembly was solidly behind the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in the presentation and implementation of the action plan, which envisions the elimination of land-based sources of marine litter within five years.
“I drafted the bill with regard to plastic pollution and proliferation of plastics in the country. The issue is getting to an alarming state”.
“I am happy NIMASA has taken the lead in ensuring that our waterways and all our water bodies are clean, safe, and a vital source of economic activity for us in this country,”
Chairman, House Committee on Environment, Hon Johnson Oghuma, expressed the lower chamber’s commitment to a cleaner environment saying the House was always prepared to assist the Executives in the implementation of government policies.
Director-General of NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside, lamented that Nigeria was among the 20 countries generating more than 80 per cent of the land-based plastic wastes that end up in the oceans.
Dakuku said the event was to raise public awareness about the dangerous effects of marine pollution and chart a national road-map on solutions to the menace.
“NIMASA has taken the lead. But this is the back-end of it. We also have to look at the front-end. We are spending billions of naira tiding up the environment; we also have people making billions of naira contributing to this menace. That is where the bill is aiming. You cannot continue to generate pollution, clog our waterways, cause erosion, flooding and all kinds of things, and some people are making money, knowing full well that they are product of the pollution “.
Dakuku in his welcome address said the problems that comes with polluting the environment with plastics and other waste products are enormous and solving them requires a systematic approach.
He listed actions already taken by NIMASA, which has the responsibility of ensuring clean seas and oceans in Nigeria, to include engagement of Marine Litter Marshals across coastal communities and littoral areas as a pilot scheme to clean up identified marine litter hotspots. Marine litter sensitisation campaigns have also been carried out in several littoral communities, he stated.
Minister of State for Environment, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor, sued for synergy among relevant government agencies and the private sector in the fight against environmental pollution. Ikeazor, said the ministry would establish more recycling plants for the collection of plastics and other litter that would be cleared from the oceans.
“You have started right with sensitisation of our people on what to do with plastics. The Ministry of Environment will definitely support NIMASA. We will take this further and put it together to be a national action plan,”.