President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that his administration would ensure ‘environmental justice’ for sustainable growth and development of the country.

The President, who was represented by Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, stated this on Friday at the Gala Night to celebrate the World Environment Day 2015, which held at the Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja.

“Our theme for the Environmental Day speaks of a crucial aspect of environmental justice. It reminds us that our world belongs to seven billion others aside from ourselves and that their habits as people and policies as government determine whether we will treat others fairly or justly,” he said.

The President noted that environmental problems including flood, climate change were assuming a higher dimension, warning that If not properly handled they would have negative impact on Nigeria’s food security, saying “Without tackling environmental degradation efforts towards building, modernizing and uplifting Nigeria will be jeopardized.”

President Buhari, however, assured that the wind of change being witnessed across all sectors of the society, including the environmental sector would ensure sustainable growth and development, stressing that the administration would further consolidate on the Great Green Wall programme, the renewable energy project as well as other environmental friendly programmes and projects.

“On our part we will consolidate on the gains so far achieved under this project. We will provide the support needed to ensure that the wind of change that had come the way of our polity comes also to the environment sector for sustainable growth and development.

He therefore emphasized that, if environmental issues were properly managed, they have the potential to support growth.

In his remarks, the Head of Service of the Federation, Mr Danladi Kifasi, stressed the need for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to develop environmental regulations and procedures to ensure clean environment in the MDAs.

He stated that from 2016, award would be given to the most environmental-friendly MDAs, urging all MDAs to put in place a sound waste management system, saying such system would help in reducing cost of governance.

Earlier the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Mrs. Nana Fatima Mede, said the event was marked to care for the Earth. She disclosed that the Ministry had recorded appreciable gains in ensuring a safe environment in the country. She used the occasion to further call on Nigerians to imbibe an environmental friendly culture both in their homes and work places.

Highlights of the event was the recognition of six Nigerians for their contributions towards ensuring a safe environment. These awardees included former Minister of Defence, retired Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (Champion for the conservation of biodiversity) and Mrs. Ajoke Mohammed, Pioneer Horticulturist and Environmental Conservationists.

Others are Chief Philip Asiodu, President of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation; Chief Giwa Bisi Rodipe, an advocate for private participation in forest conservation and industrialization; Dr Newton Jibunoh, advocate for the fight against desert encroachment and Mr Olatunji Oyefuga, Developer of environmental management technology systems.

June 5 of every year has been set aside to mark the World Environmental Day, while the theme for this year’s World Environmental Day is, “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with care.’’

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