A renowned Environmental expert and former Director General of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA), Dr. Adegoke Adegoroye has advised the Federal Government to create an Environment Fund to subsume the current Ecological Fund and cover the entire spectrum of environment problems and issues, into which donations and/or green taxes from corporate bodies can be paid in furtherance of their corporate environmental responsibility. He also said that the Federal Government must as a matter of urgency make concrete investment in the development of infrastructure for environmental management and sustainability as a viable insurance against natural disasters such as floods, desertification and environmental degradation. Dr. Adegoroye made the declaration while speaking at the 9th Annual Lecture of the School of Environmental Technology, (SET), Federal University of Technology, Akure, (FUTA), and spoke on the theme: From Research to Policy and Vision to Action. The challenge of Environmental Management in Nigeria.”
Adegoroye said that the path to the realization of Nigeria’s dream in environmental management does not lie in the ‘agencification’ of every environmental problem but in adapting the more balanced approach of channeling available resources to addressing those problems with a strong commitment to effective enforcement of the laws and regulations to pursue the vision encapsulated in the national policy. Adegoroye who served as the Pioneer Director General, Bureau of Public service Reform (BPSR) said States taxes and conditionality for resource extraction must take full account of the values of such resources, including the pollution and/or degradation that accompany their extraction as well as their replacement costs such that, in the case of renewable resources like timber, loggers and millers must be made to go into cooperatives that would establish plantations of their preferred species as replacement stocks for future generations.
Speaking on the role of research in environmental management, the Don said it is imperative for the Government as a matter of public policy to adopt research and development as an integral part of national strategy for development and to pay more attention to research Development funding in Nigeria.
He said Nigerian academics and researchers must abandon the regimentation of knowledge that has continued to subsist in our institutions of higher learning and adopt the new global method of appreciating and deploying knowledge within the holistic and inter-disciplinary practical approach of providing solutions to societal problems, as that is the only way of assuring the national relevance of knowledge in the 21st century.
Dr. Adegoroye proposed that a National Committee on Resolution of Federal and State roles in Environmental issues should be set up to examine the current role conflict between federal and state environmental enforcement agencies and come up with appropriate guidelines that will assist the National Council on Environment to improve Federal-State relations in environmental management.
Concluding, Adegoroye was optimistic that if researchers, technocrats, policy makers and government functionaries can carry out their roles with their respective scopes of authority, the expected marked improvement in environmental management will manifest in both the health of the people and the state of the physical environment.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joseph Fuwape said the theme of the lecture is not only profound but also timely as a potent instrument for reawakening research values and re-evaluation of policy concept in environment management in Nigeria.
He said the issue of environmental management has assumed international dimension such that leaders of Governments and International agencies have become ambassadors for creation of awareness for man’s healthy living. Therefore the nation must key into the environmental protection plan to safeguard the environment.
The Dean, School of Environmental Technology (SET), Professor Julius Olujimi said our environment is regarded as our biggest and most valuable asset, whose utilization needs to be jealously guarded and sustainably managed.
He said research works in the ivory tower should not end in mere translation into publication of papers in High Impact Factor (HIF) journals alone but they are expected to guide our policy formulators in coming up with policies that would translate into actionable programmes and projects.