Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
The Federal Government and the Cross River State Government have jointly flagged off a natural waste to wealth programme, using environmentally friendly degradable technologies.
Speaking at the recent launch at Idundu Industrial layout, Calabar, where the dump site is located, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, said the programme, which will be sustainable, will create employment and wealth for the people.
The move was contained in a statement signed by the minister’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Take Akinyemi, which said the programme is geared towards using science technology to boost the economy, and to lead the country from a resource based to a knowledge and innovation-driven economy.
According to Onu, the programme will enable Nigerians to convert waste to valuable goods and services that will help create wealth, more jobs, reduce poverty, defeat hunger and help stimulate national consciousness in the power of science and technology as an important instrument for national rebirth.
In his remark, the Governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade, represented by his Deputy, Prof. Ivara Esu, expressed appreciation at the collaboration between the federal government and his state.
He said: “I want to express our excitement that the ministry of science and technology is bringing this laudable project to Calabar, as a pilot state in which the waste-to-wealth programme has been launched.
Ayade acknowledged that the programme is desirable and would also serve in producing products such as bio-gas, organic waste and feeds for aquatic culture in Calabar, the state capital. He appealed to the minister to beef up the budget for the waste-to-wealth programme for sustainability and for proper implementation.
Also in a related development, Onu, while unveiling the NOTAP / PZ upgraded Chemistry laboratory at the University of Calabar, commended the efforts of PZ Cussons Nigeria Limited in partnering the ministry in upgrading the laboratory.
He further stated that the partnership is being strengthened for the purpose of cementing the link between research findings and industries in the country.
This, he said, was in line with the government’s resolve to strengthen the role of science and technology innovation to defeat hunger, create jobs, “stimulate growth in our national, and reawaken our national pride”.
The minister affirmed his commitment and resolve to work hard to bridge technology gaps and strengthen the role which science and technology should play in the country’s search for a sustainable and diversified economy.
The waste-to-wealth programme has also been adopted and employed by the Lagos State government, which seeks to convert different forms of bio-degradable waste into new environmentally-friendly products. This initiative has served to keep the environment clean in the state, and other states are adopting the same technique to boost their internally-generated revenue (IGR) and local economies.