The Federal Government has promised to take necessary steps to stem disaster-driven poverty in the country.
The government equally promised to put in place legal framework to reward and punish citizens for environmental use.
Addressing members of Ogun State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) who paid him courtesy visit at the weekend in Abuja, the Minister of State for Environment, Dr. Ishaq Salako said Nigeria is currently facing a lot of environmental challenges from desertification, desert encroachment, land degradation, gully erosion, among others and that some something need to be done to address the decline.
He said: “I read it in the paper that if we do not take right actions in the country, in the next seven years or so, Nigeria would become one of the top ten nations in disaster driven poverty.”
He said to prevent this, not just the government but all Nigerians need to put in efforts at ensuring this never happened.
He said the NIPR has a duty to play in sensitizing the people on waste disposal and the need to pay for disposal of waste.
He said: “People do not believe you pay for waste disposal. We need to sensitize our people that if you do not pay for proper disposal of waste, it would eventually become a burden on the society.
“We also believe there is aspect of sustainable environment that must become obligatory civic duty just like you pay tax which is obligatory, sustainable environment and the way you use environment must become obligatory civic duty.
“It it not as if you would go to jail but you can be fined if you don’t do the right thing. You can also be rewarded if you put the environment to good use.”
He added that: “Our vision is to crave out this kind of encouragement using laws, using regulations to ensure that people take the issue of environment very seriously, and to know that it is their civic responsibility that the environment is well taken care of.”
Earlier, the chairperson of the Ogun State Chapter of the NIPR, Mrs. Oluwaseun Boye had promised to use the tools at the disposal of the association ti project the activities of the Ministry of Environment
Boye said: “The activities of the ministry would be projected, it would be in the media. We are ready to collaborate with you, we are ready to promote you and to ensure you have a successful tenure.”