From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) has expressed concern over the increasing threat to Nigeria’s environment and possibly effect on ecosystem and human existence.
NIREC, thus, suggested that a legislation be made to protect and enforce environmental protection laws, thus safeguarding the entire ecosystem.
Executive Secretary of NIREC, Prof. Cornelius Omonokhua, in a statement released in Abuja, on Thursday, said the level of air, water and general environmental pollution is alarming and a threat to ecosystem and human existence.
He said: “our lands are polluted due to improper or lack of available dump site for domestic wastes, wrongful or excessive use of agro-allied chemicals which are mostly washed down into nearby rivers and streams, thus posing a threat to clean water.
“Our waters are polluted by direct dumping of refuse in water ways thus causing blockage of such water ways which result in flooding and contamination of water. These floods are responsible for loss of lives and property worth millions of naira on annual basis.
“Oil drilling activities from the oil producing states is another aspect of water pollution mostly experienced in the southern part of the country. This involves oil spillage from the crude oil activities carried out in that region.”
NIREC observed that spillages, be it on land or in water, are responsible for the death of plants and aquatic animals thus making farming and fishing activities more difficult, and ultimately affecting the means of livelihood of the host community.
The Council was particularly concerned that there are no stiff penalties for deadly chemical emissions, and as such, a lot of vehicles drive around with visible emission, with heavy duty vehicles creating dark cloud while in motion.
“Indiscriminate burning of bushes and refuse also add to the problem of air pollution. Indiscriminate falling of trees without replanting, illegal mining, etc. are all part of man’s activities that are taking a toll on the environment,” NIREC added.
The Council called on government to make legislation that would enable the respective regulatory Ministries, Departments and Agencies to address and combat these crises.
It also called on all concerned industries that produce one form of waste or the other to be truly professional in their waste disposal methods and own up by cleaning up areas they have already polluted.
It asked Nigerians to be true nationalist by avoiding acts that could be inimical to the environment.