By Emmanuel Ugwu, Umuahia
The federal government has advised state governments to start thinking of ways to exploit the revenue potential in the heaps of waste products that have become common place in most cities and rural communities across the nation.
To prod state governments to start making money from refuse heaps, the federal government has launched the National Waste-to-Wealth Programme with appropriate technology whereby states could make money from wastes and enhance their internally generated revenue (IGR) profile.
Minister of science and technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu flagged-off the programme at Abia State government house, Umuahia for the Southeast zone, where he called on the state governments to key into the programme, adding that the new programme would be launched in all the six geopolitical zones.
He expressed optimism about the viability of the waste to wealth project, saying that all Nigerians must embrace the programme as it would help create both wealth and jobs.
Explaining how states could make money from waste products, Onu said that electric power can be generated from wastes, organic fuel for domestic and industrial use is also available in refuse heaps while organic fertilizer can also be produced for use in the farms to enhance food production.
“I am confident that this programme, if properly implemented, will help our great nation, Nigeria to effectively convert the huge amount of waste generated in both our rural and urban areas into very useful products to promote the happiness of our people,” he said.
According to the minister, the deployment of appropriate technology to realise the programme would further “strengthen the place of science, technology and innovation in our search for a new beginning and help move our economy from being resource based to become knowledge based and innovation driven for the good of all.”
Onu stressed that the nation has a lot to benefit from turning heaps of garbage to generate wealth as it would usher in a new order of sustainable development and enduring prosperity for the nation.
“It will help create wealth and jobs, reduce poverty, help defeat hunger and stimulate national consciousness in the power of science and technology as an important instrument for nation building, he said.
Furthermore, the minister expressed confident that through this National Waste-to Wealth programme, by using appropriate technologies no waste would be wasted as “what becomes waste for one household can become useful for another,” he said.
The science and technology minister dispelled any doubt about the possibility of waste generated in one household becoming a source of wealth for other people, insisting that science, technology and innovation would make it possible.
According to him, the new initiative of using waste to create wealth was part of the commitment of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government to do all that is necessary in the best interest of the nation to accelerate the pace of national development driven by science, technology and innovation.
“I am confident that we will our objective because we are driven by the love of country,” Onu said, adding that every Nigerian irrespective of social status, religious persuasion and ethnic origin has the right to live a decent life.