The Minister of State for Environment, Dr Ishaq Salako, has stated that most environmental abuse is due to ignorance.
Addressing a delegation of the Ogun State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, who paid him a courtesy visit at the weekend in Abuja, the minister said the sustainable use of the environment remained the “number one priority” of the President Bola Tinubu-led administration.
He called for concerted efforts to tackle environmental challenges in the country.
Salako urged the NIPR to assist the Federal Government in sensitising and reorienting the citizens on sustainable use of the environment.
He noted that the country was facing a lot of environmental challenges, including deforestation, desert encroachment, land degradation, floods, gully erosion, and climate change.
He added that urgent measures must be taken to reverse the ugly trend.
According to him, the current administration envisioned a country where the sustainable use of the environment becomes an obligatory civic duty.
Salako urged PR professionals in the country to help the government in carrying out adequate sensitisation of the citizenry, especially on proper waste disposal.
The minister restated the commitment of the government to forestalling a situation where Nigeria would become one of the top 10 nations in disaster-driven poverty.
He said, “Environment is livelihood; without environment, there cannot be survival. So, for Mr President, the sustainable use of the Nigerian environment is the number one priority because the environment is a gift from God, and if we do not use it well, God will be unhappy with us.
“The mandate of the Federal Ministry of Environment is multifaceted. But one of the key mandates that we have is to ensure the use of the environment for the health and well-being of human beings, plants and animals on earth and we are determined to do that.”
He claimed the NIPR would also have a very important role to play because research had shown that most of the abuse of the environment was due to ignorance.
He stressed the need to carry out sensitisation and education to improve the environment.