Just like any other sector of the economy, the present administration under President Muhammadu Buhari has made remarkable impact on the environmental sector probably, unprecedented in the history of our democratic journey since its inception in 1999. A cursory observer of trends in the environment sector of the country would not have missed the presidents unflinching passion and commitment to the environment as demonstrated by his campaign against the global climatic change problems and the need for the international community to synergize to ensure its mitigation and adaptation because of its negative impact on the livelihood and economy of our developing countries.
This uncommon passion and desire was manifested in his appointment of the immediate past Minister of Environment and now United Nation’s Deputy Secretary, Hajiya Amina Muhammed, to head the Environment Ministry. Hajiya Amina has carved a niche for herself as a renowned and seasoned technocrat and activitist who always ensure the adoption of international best practices in all her endeavors. The president’s penchant for attending all the submits organized by the United Nations committee on climate change since his assumption in to office more than three years ago, where he signed and ratified all the follow-up protocols and conventions on climate change further testified to his avowed commitment to maintaining an ecologically stable and balanced environment for our sustainable development in the country.
Another significant and rare achievement recorded by the present administration is the signing of the contract for the cleanup of the Ogoni land of oil spillage which many doubting Thomas’s were skeptical about, but which he has taking unto himself as a covenant, which he must fulfill to the inhabitants of the Niger Delta area of the country. Other achievements include his hosting of the international conference on reviving the Lake Chad, which was held last year in the country with a view to mobilizing funds for resuscitating the lake because of its importance to the inhabitants of member countries of the Lake Chad basin. Government have also demonstrated an unequivocal commitment in its financial obligation to the implementation of the World Bank assisted National Erosion and Watershed Management Project, which is now being implemented across many states of the federation to address the devastating problems of gully erosion, especially in the south- eastern parts of the country, while the activities of the Great Green Wall Implementation Agency, which addresses desertification problems of the arid zone states have been reinvigorated to make it more vibrant in meeting the challenges of tackling the myriad of ecological problems caused by desertification and drought in the Northern states.
But environmental problems are every body’s business, therefore, concerted efforts are needed by both the other tiers of government, host-communities, private individuals and organizations, development partners and international donor agencies to ensure that, we achieve a sustainable development in our country, which according to the United Nations conference on environment and development, could only be attained if we maintain an ecologically balanced and stable environment.
However, this would only be possible by observing a paradigm shift in the way and manner we presently handled our environmental problems and issues in the country. And this would be possible through the adoption of the 3R’s principles of Reduce, Re-use and Re-cycled.
Ahmed M. Abubakar, Damaturu, Yobe State