The Minister of Environment, Mrs Amina Mohammed has avowed to encourage use of recycled materials in the country during the 9th National Stakeholders Forum tagged: “Environmental Best Practices in Waste Control, Initiative and Innovations’’ held in Abuja yesterday and organised by the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency.
Mohammed assured that the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) would be implemented to promote waste reduction and explained that EPR ensures that manufacturers imbibed cleaner production principles of conserving raw materials and energy. The objective of EPR, she says, is to ensure that wastes from products are minimised and reused in one form or the other.
Represented by Mr John Alonge, Director, and Environmental Assessment Department in the ministry, the minister further explained that EPR would also help to increase resource efficiency for sustainable development, as she stressed that its implementation in Nigeria must be taken seriously.
Mohammed who stated that many countries had embraced the programme and were succeeding, reiterated that the government will ensure full implementation of the law and all environmental offenders must be prosecuted, adding that our laws must be obeyed by all and sundry, nobody or institution is above the law as there will be no exception.
She said that EPR had been proven to be effective tool to best practices in attaining developmental goals and added that industries needed to adopt environmental best practices to support government in ensuring a healthy and safe environment.
The Minister noted that the agency had developed operational guidelines for the EPR implementation, adding that some producers had yet to embrace the programme as recommended by the environmental law. She reiterated that the environmental problem required collective responsibility and actions from all stakeholders as the involvement of such stakeholders would promote healthier environment.
The Chairman, House Committee on Environment,Rep. ObinnaChidoka during his speech, reaffirmed that National Assembly was committed to ensuring that environmental issues were kept on the front burner of national polity.
Chidoka said the committee would work with all key stakeholders and sectors to address the environmental issues as well as carry out its functions effectively and promised that the committee would also assist NASREA to ensure that ERP programme was implemented.