Lagos – Prof. Oladele Osibanjo, an oceanographer, on Wednesday advised the Federal Government to initiate policies and act that would regulate waste management in the country.
He gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, on the sideline of the commemoration of 2016 World Oceans Day.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the World Oceans Day is usually held on June 8.
Osibanjo, the Executive Director, Basel Convention Centre, University of Ibadan, said that the country lacked a national waste policy and a national waste act that could help in handling waste generated.
“We do not have a national waste policy and we lack a national waste act, which will tell people how to handle waste for various uses.
“Nigeria is a costal and maritime nation, but somehow, the environmental aspect and marine pollution have been neglected in our country.
“We need an integrated coastal and marine pollution protection policy in the country,’’ he said.
He said there was the need to imbibe the culture of proper waste disposal and to handle waste as a valuable source of materials.
“Based on our bad habit to waste, we don’t have a culture of waste disposal, and we don’t see waste as a valuable material.
“The ocean is a very vital resources, apart from the transportation route for bringing in valuable goods for our industries, we need to secure it for tourism and utilise the gains nature has giving us and the beauty of the ocean.
“In Kenyan and Mauritius, tourism is their major source of their foreign exchange because foreigners make use of their coastal areas,’’ he said.
Osibanjo identified plastic waste as one of the major challenges facing our marine and coastal environment.
He urged stakeholders to ensure adequate safety of the sea and coastal lines to promote the nations tourism sector.
The theme of the 2016 celebration is: “Healthy Ocean, Wealthy Planet.’’ (NAN)