The Ogun State Government has sought the collaboration of all and sundry in protecting, maintaining, and restoring the planet for a more conducive environment.
The State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun made this known during a grand finale celebration of the World Environment Day with the theme; “Only One Earth” at the Banquet Hall of June 12 Cultural Center, Kuto, Abeokuta.
Represented by the Head of Service, Dr. Nafiu Aigoro, the Governor, said individuals, Non-Governmental, Civil Society, and corporate organisations should be concerned about how best to proffer solutions to the challenges confronting the environment, in order to make it a better place to live.
He implored the citizens to desist from polluting the environment to prevent loss of lives and property, pointing out that the celebration was aimed at educating the public on environmental challenges which include, flood, deforestation, pollution, among others.
He noted that his administration had put in place the Ogun State Waste Management Agency, to curb indiscriminate waste disposal, urging residents to cooperate with the government at ensuring a cleaner environment, saying ‘’cleaning the environment is the key to the existence and survival of life on planet’’.
In his keynote address, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment, Mr. Ola Oresanya said the State had joined the rest of the world in celebrating the World Environment Day, which was initiated on the fifth of June, 1972, by the United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP), charging members of the public to always maintain a clean environment.
Oresanya pointed out that ‘’as Ogun is rapidly growing to become the most industrialised State in Nigeria, we need to protect our rich biodiversity which is already being threatened. To avoid adverse effects on our ecosystem, we need to use this year’s celebration, which is the 50th anniversary of the World Environment Day, to enlighten people on how to be an agent of change for sustainable and equitable development’’.
On his part, Head Environmental Management and Toxicology Department, Federal University of Agriculture, Prof. Babatunde Bada, who spoke on the consequences of climate change, said the condition could lead to loss of lives, encouraging people to cultivate the habit of tree planting and recycling wastes, particularly plastic bottles which causes damage to human health.
Earlier in his address, a Professor of Environmental Chemistry, Oladele Osibanjo, represented by the Head Department of Geography, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Dr. Olumide Onafeso mentioned that the health of the people had a great impact on the earth, emphasising the need to live sustainably in harmony with nature.
In his goodwill message, Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Tpl. Tunji Odunlami commended the effort of the Ministry of Environment for using the celebration to sensitise citizens, maintaining that cleanliness of the environment is the beginning of a healthy life.
Earlier speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Engr. Rasaki Ojetola, said the earth is faced with a triple planetary emergency which includes, climate change, pollution, nature and biodiversity loss, noting that all hands must be on deck to save the planet.
Highlights of the celebration were the presentation of awards to the most compliant companies in environmental laws, which are LA Cena Waters, Nestle Plc, Daraju Industry, Nigeria Breweries, among others, while the Ministry had earlier planted trees in African Church Grammar, St. Benedict Nursery and Primary School and others, all in Abeokuta.