By Jonathan Ugbal
Cross River Commissioner for Environment, Engineer Mike Eraye says the state is fascinated about the Waste-To-Wealth (WtW) initiative having been selected for the pilot scheme of the project.
“We are anxious to execute the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), perfect it and are also determined to regain our status (as number one tourist destination and clean and green status) back” Eraye told a delegation of the Federal Government led by the Head of Civil Service of the federation Winifred Oyo-Ita recently.
Eraye who has embarked on a serious city cleaning drive not minding whose ox is gored in the process and with limited resources and equipment says the initiative has set a new agenda for Cross River State, particularly on “Environmental development issues” which he says necessitated the visit of the technical team of the federal ministry of science and technology led by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Habiba Lawal and the Council of Entrepreneurs for Africa (COEFA), Canada, led by Dr. Sandra Ireakazi.
He expressed optimism that the statistics gotten through study analysis by the technical committee, inter-ministerial committee and a programed office which would be set up will go a long way to help government in the provision of employment for youths and women even as he hoped the sensitization of the masses on environmental issues will improve.
In her remarks, Winifred said she got wind of the WtW project while she was the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology and brought it to the knowledge of the governor having known “The drive of Cross River State in waste management and the pedigree that the governor, Professor Ben Ayade has in the area of waste technology.”
Elucidating the antecedent of waste management and technology in the state, she said the area is one that required “Mastery, exposure and international credibility” adding that, “The world is inundated with huge amount of waste which developed nations and other fast growing nations like Singapore and Malaysia are converting to economic use.”
Assuring that the WtW project is one that when implemented, will boost the profile of the state, as the potentials of waste management include employment opportunities and improving the aesthetic value of the environment, Winifred stated that “Steel industries, Chemical Industries, Bio-Technology and all kinds of gaseous products are derived from waste and converted into power.”
The Odukpani native advised the state to take advantage of the opportunity before them as Cross River is one of the few states benefitting from the program being introduced at national level even as she hoped that by the time the MoU is signed with COEFA moving in fully with the activity plan, “The impact will be felt within a short while.”
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