From: Ali Abare, Gombe
The Federal Government has launched the Waste-To-Wealth (W2W) programme using appropriate technology in the North East political zone aimed at eradicating poverty as well as providing employment opportunities.
Flagging-off the programme, on Monday, in Gombe, Minister of Science and Technoogy, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, said the programme if properly executed will also seek to reduce crime through its numerous empowerment benefits such as job creation in various sectors of waste management.
Dr. Onu said the programme will also serve as a platform to enlighten the youths on the adverse effects of improper waste management and the need to cultivate good waste management habits.
“Indeed, waste generation and its improper management have been identified as one of the primary csuses of health related illnesses and environmental hazards,” the Minister said.
The minister disclosed that Gombe State was chosen for the pilot project because the state is blessed with abundant natural resources which include uranium, gypsum and limestone, as well as rich agricultural resources.
He stated further that the pilot plant when installed will allow for conversion of waste to valuable economic goods and services.
“The W2W programme will make the difference in our search for a new Nigeria. A Nigeria that will deploy science and technology to feed her citizens and enhancing capacity for export trade,” Dr. Onu said.
While disclosing that the construction of the pilot pkant will begin shortly after the flag-off, the minister urged Nigerians, not just the North East, to embrace the programme.
In speech, Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo said the launch of the programme could not have come at a better time when government efforts are geared towards diversifying the economy as well as creating job opportunities for the teeming youths.
He noted that the North East has experienced numerous challenges arising from activities of insurgents which has adversely affected socio-economic activities in the region leading to high levels of unemployment and poverty.
Dankwambo used the opportunity to highlight some of the achievements of his administration in the area of youth empowerment which include the deradicalization of the notorious Kalare youths, the setting up of four skills acquisition centres in which 1,150 youths were trained in welding, POP, solar and renewable energy technology.
He said his administration in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 48 indigenous master trainers have been trained who in turn are expected to train 600 youths in welding and metal fabrication, alluminium fabrication, GSM repairs, computer operation and carpentary.
Dankwambo disclosed that in order to ensure the successful take-off of the programme, 4 hectares of lands have been provided with a working committee already in place to ensure realization of its objectives.
Representatives of governors of Bauchi, Adamawa, Taraba, Yobe and Borno states also attended the flagging-off ceremony. with each governor pledging their commitments to participate in the programme.