By Godwin Oritse
The National Assembly and the Federal Ministry of Environment have disclosed that there are plans to sponsor a bill meant to prohibit the production of plastics with a view to preserving the environment.
A member of the Senate Committee on Marine Transport, Senator Tolulope Odebiyi, disclosed this in Lagos at the launch of the Maritime Action Plan for Marine Litter and Plastics Management in Nigeria hosted by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA.
Odebiyi said the bill would be harmonised with input from the Federal Ministry of Environment to make a holistic law that would impose tough sanctions on the production of organic polymers.
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Odebiyi said: “I am happy NIMASA has taken the lead in ensuring that our waterways and all our water bodies are clean, safe and a vital source of economic activity for us in this country.
“I sponsored a bill with regards to plastic pollution and the proliferation of plastics in the country. The issue is getting to an alarming state.
“NIMASA has taken the lead. But this is the back end of it. We also have to look at the front end. We are spending billions of naira tiding up the environment; we also have people making billions of naira contributing to this menace. That is where the bill is aiming.
“You cannot continue to generate pollution, clog our waterways, cause erosion, flooding and all kinds of things, and some people are making money, knowing well that their product is contributing to the pollution.
“The Senate is much interested in this issue. We see the environment as a vital economic resource for us in this country. We will be working with NIMASA, Federal Ministry of Environment, and all the other agencies.”
In his remarks, Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, lamented that Nigeria was among the 20 countries generating more than 80 per cent of the land-based plastic wastes that end up in the oceans.
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