Vanguard (Lagos)

27 July 2002

Nigeria: Minister Advises Govt Over Protection of Earth Resources

Minister of Environment, Alhaji Muhammad Kabir Sa'id Thursday advised that federal government should not shy away from the reality that the world has become a global village of which all nations of the world, both developed and under-developed countries have a role to play in the protection and equitable utilisation of the earth's resources.

Alhaji Sa'id gave this advice at the opening session of the National Forum on Sustainable Development, held at Nicon Hotel Abuja. He noted that a recent report from United Nations illustrates vividly the imbalance in the consumption pattern of the earth's resources.

"The report reveals that only 15 per cent of the world population, in high income countries, account for 56 per cent of the world's total consumption, while the poorest 40 per cent, in low-income countries, account for only 11 per cent," he said adding, "while most people consume more today, the consumption expenditure of average African household is 20 per cent less than it was 25 years ago!"

The minister pointed out that it is in realization of the enormous problem facing the continent and the need to take charge of the country's destiny that some African initiatives have emerged to reverse the trend.

Alhaji Sa'id stated that Mr. President, in order to ensure sustainable environment, pioneered the creation of a new African-led initiative known as the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).

Among the objective of NEPAD, he noted are to eradicate poverty and place African countries, both individual and collectively, on a path of sustainable growth and development; to halt the marginalisation of African in globalisation process and to restore peace, security and stability in the continent.

"NEPAD creates a new framework of cooperation between Africa and the rest of the global community, based on the agenda set by African people throughout their own volition and initiatives to chart their own course and shope their destiny," he said.

The minister stated that ten years after UNCED, that a World Summit on Sustainable Development will be held in Africa. "More importantly, African and ways to solve her problems have become part of the main agenda of the summit, the issue to be addressed at the summit are very paramount to African Development," he stressed.

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