President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in Abuja conferred the Environmental Friendly awards on six Nigerians, assuring that his administration would ensure “environmental justice” for sustainable growth and development.
The President, who was represented by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, conferred the awards at a Gala Night marking the World Environment Day 2015 at the Banquet Hall of the State House.
The beneficiaries of the awards include former Minister of Defence, retired Gen. Theophilus Danjuma whowas conferred with “Champion for the Conservation of Biodiversity”.
Mrs. Ajoke Mohammed was also given the “Pioneer Horticulturist and Environmental Conservationist” award, while Chief Philip Asiodu, President of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, was also honoured.
Others are Chief Giwa Rodipe, an advocate for private participation in forest conservation and industrialisation, and Dr Newton Jibunoh, advocate for the fight against desert encroachment.
Mr Olatunji Oyefuga, developer of environmental management technology systems, was also honoured.
In his speech, President Buhari said the wind of change being witnessed across all sectors of the society, including the environmental sector, would ensure sustainable growth and development.
“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 which has come the way of our polity comes also to the environmental sector for sustainable growth and development.
“Our theme for the Environmental Day speaks of the 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.”
Buhari noted that environmental problems, including flood and climate change, were assuming a higher dimension, warning that they would have negative impact on Nigeria’s food security if not properly handled.
“If the environmental issues are properly managed, they have the potential to support growth,” he added.
In his remarks, the Head of Service of the Federation, Danladi Kifasi, stressed the need for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to develop environmental regulations and procedures.
“This will help to ensure clean environment in the MDAs,” he said.
Kifasi, therefore, announced that awards would henceforth be given to the most environmental-friendly MDA, from 2016.
He urged all MDAs to put in place sound waste management system, saying such system would help in reducing cost of governance.
NAN reports that June 5 of every year has been set aside to mark the World Environmental Day.
The theme for this year’s World Environmental Day is “Seven billion dreams. One planet. Consume with care”.