Rotimi Agboluaje, Ibadan
A former Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Australia, Ambassador Ayoola Olukanni, called on lawmakers in the country to play a leadership role in sustainable environmental development.
Amb. Olukanni stated this during a lecture organized by the Nigerian Society for Information Arts and Culture at Magazine Road, Jericho, Ibadan.
Delivering the lecture titled: “Think Global Act Local: Cogent Issues of the Environment”, he said there is a need for a lot of education but the lawmakers need more.
The former envoy who is the Vice-President, Fight Against Desert Encroachment stated that legislative arm has done little on the environment except Ecological Funds contract, saying that there is a need for a strong environmental leadership.
He urged the youth to challenge their parents and take environmental advocacy to a higher level.
To attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Amb. Okukanni called for effective management of solid wastes, strengthening of institutions at all levels, creation of a Corps of young professionals in the field of environment, wide circulation of the new National Policy on environment, among others.
In a remark, the chairman of the event, Prof. Dele Osibanjo, stressed the need for a national re-orientation.
Prof. Osibanjo who said: “we are not practising waste management but waste disposal”, maintained that ,”if we can put value to waste, nobody will throw it away. There is a future in environment. There is much wealth within us which we call waste”.
He urged students to see beyond where they are now, saying there are opportunities in the environment sector.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Oyo State Ministry of Health, Mr. Ogintola Gabriel, said the state government was open to partnership with nongovernmental organizations and others.