The Federal Government has called on environmental engineers to find solutions that would reduce the dependence on fossil fuel and increase reliance on natural management of the nation’s resources.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, made the call during the investiture ceremony of the 6th Chairman and members of the Nigeria Institute of Environmental Engineers (NIEE) in Abuja.
The theme of the programme was: “Environment Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in Nigeria: The Post COVID-19 Era”.
Mustapha said that the nation’s forests had the ability to provide nutrients for sustainable agriculture and equally important to create an amiable climate to reduce exposure to health risks.
“I urge and challenge you all not to relent in your efforts at developing innovative solutions that would contribute to the development of our great nation.
“The challenge posed by climate change, that threatens various aspects of our lives, and in this context food security, provides an opportunity for such innovativeness.
“We need to come up with engineering solutions that reduce our dependence on fossil fuel, increase our reliance on natural management of our God-given resources especially that of our forests to provide nutrients for sustainable agriculture.
“It is equally important to create an amiable climate to reduce exposure to health risks.”
He said that the COVID-19 pandemic had brought an economic down-turn and disruptions to socio-cultural norms, adding that this was pernicious for developing countries with very little coping mechanism to deal with its negative impacts.
“As we are all aware the COVID-19 pandemic brought on the global community an economic down-turn and disruptions to socio-cultural norms we have all been used to.
“This is more pernicious for developing countries with very little coping mechanism to deal with its negative impacts.
“The globe has changed so rapidly in the last decade and particularly in year 2020 with the onset of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and as you all know, we are already witnessing a second wave.
“We are also comforted with the fact that there is good news with adherence to laid down protocols and guidelines as well as the production of vaccines,” he said.
Mr Olalekan Ajani, the National Chairman, NIEE, said the theme was timely because of the global pandemic that had affected several sectors of the economy as well as imminent environmental impact.
Ajani explained that the event would give the opportunity to discuss how to solve the myriads of environmental challenges affecting Nigeria and the entire globe.
“These challenges range from flooding, desertification, deforestation, water pollution and climate change to biodiversity issues among others.
“Environmental engineers use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology and chemistry to develop solutions to these environmental problems.
“They work to improve recycling, waste disposal, public health and water and air pollution control to provide food security for Nigeria,” he said.
Earlier in her remarks, Lynda Elesa, the NIEE, 6th Chairman, Abuja Chapter, said that planned activities of the organisation during her tenure are embedded in the mission, vision and goals of the institution.
Elesa said that the organisation believed in getting the young people interested in science and engineering for a better tomorrow and all humankind.
She listed some of the environmental sustainability projects and programmes to be: sustainability champion student competition, capacity building and development, Valerie Agberaba’s clean and renewable energy competition, among others.
“As children grow up in a changing world that is increasingly technologically advanced, they also must be scientifically educated to succeed.
“We intend to undertake sustainability competitions for students in schools and institutions to ensure they build on their practical skills and test their knowledge of energy efficiency.”