By Idris Ibrahim
The Federal Ministry of Environment has collaborated with Help Keep Clean Foundation to create awareness on ways to tackle the effects of environmental challenges in Nigeria, including the dangers of global warming.
The Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibrin said at the 2018 National Health Advancement Conference held in Abuja Thursday that there was urgent need to prioritise national environmental health hazards and safety in order to curb various environmental challenges confronting the nation across the six-geopolitical zones.
He was represented by the Registrar of Environmental Health Registration Council of Nigeria, Dominic Abonye at the conference with a theme Environmental Health: Re-Awakening National Awareness On Environmental Health Hazards and Safety.
Jibrin underscored the need for “‘re-awakening” national awareness on environmental health hazards and safety.
“Nigeria is endowed with abundant human and natural resources that traversed over 9000 square kilometres of the land. The country is faced with diverse environmental challenges ranging from desertification in the north, degradation and pollution in the south.
“The environmental challenges present with other hazards such as biological, chemical, ergonomic and physical threatens human survival and development which affects Nigerians by inflicting injuries, causing diseases and psychological disorders,” he said.
The minister noted that environmental challenges could also restrain production potentials of industrial and agricultural sectors with the ability to trigger socio-economic-cultural conflicts if not properly managed.
Chairman of the event, Mike Omotosho said environmental and health hazards were potential “tsunami” that the challenges needed to be swiftly and carefully arrested.
“You will agree with me that when you have a lot of crisis in several areas, you now begin to prioritise. Naturally there is not enough been done but a call for improvement is a call for ‘re-awakening the awareness and I believe that is why the team organised this conference,” he said while emphasising the environmental factors that needed to be focused on.
“The biggest factors for immense concern was the increase in carbon dioxide level due to emissions from fossil fuel and other factors such as land use, ozone layer depletion, agriculture and deforestation,” Omotosho added.
Other participants at the events are; Representatives from National Medical Association, NGOs including Wellbeing Foundation founded by wife of the Senate President, Mrs Oluwatoyin Bukola Saraki.