Plastics: FG urged to issue 5-year suspension before ban

The National Council on Environment (NCE) has advised that a moratorium of five years be given before the ban of single-use plastic materials in order to formulate policy guidelines on single-use plastic waste management in the country.

This was part of the resolutions at the end of 13th National Council on Environment meeting held in Kaduna, recently with the theme, ‘Promoting Environmental Advocacy for Sustainable Development: A Panacea for Achieving the Next Level Agenda’.

The council, in a communiqué, said it has become imperative for the federal and state ministries of Environment to embark on advocacy and sensitization on the adverse effects of single-use plastic materials.

It further said there is need to ensure that all state governments adopt and implement the provisions of the National Health Care Waste Management Policy (NHCWMP) and its guidelines so as to prevent the menacing health care waste problem.

The communiqué said the experts also noted that the release of excess water into dams caused flood disasters in the riverine communities in Nigeria and urged all the relevant agencies to effectively manage and monitor such releases to curb the adverse effects.

They identified the need to escalate the Web Based Flood Early Warning Systems (FEWS) “presently providing predictions in 302 locations in Nigeria to cover the whole country as a result of the recent nationwide flood disaster.”

While emphasising the need to promote de-silting and dredging of Nigeria’s river systems in order to improve upon their flood carrying capacity, the experts also said there is need for the Ecological Funds Office (EFO) to support the Federal Ministry of Environment to fund some major ecological remediation projects across the nation.

The communiqué re-affirmed the need for the planting of 25 million tree seedlings in the country to reduce environmental challenges and consequently increase the forest cover of the country.

“There is need for the Federal Ministry of Environment to collaborate with states on modalities towards the establishment of Renewable Energy Facilities in order to consider the drive for cities to be powered by cleaner energy sources,” the communiqué added.

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