Daily Trust (Abuja)

15 October 2003

Nigeria: FG to Convene National Environmental Conference Soon

If the proposal to outlive a comprehensive environmental check list as guide for present and future national action plan currently awaiting President Olusegun Obasanjo's signature is passed, the federal government may convene a national conference by November.

The proposal for a national conference on the environment of Nigeria was proferred by current minister Col. Bala Mande as the only solution to the desperate and varied environmental degradation which were compounded by years of neglect, according to Daily Trust's sources at the presidency.

Minister of Environment, our sources confirmed to Daily Trust, had found the various environmental catastrophe dotting the states of the federation he had visited in the course of his nationwide tour, saddening. "He has therefore provided, for the first time since the creation of the ministry, a comprehensible eyewitness report which warned of dire environmental consequences for the nation, in the event of any further laxity or delays in taking action," the impeccable source told Daily Trust.

President Olusegun Obasanjo has therefore acceded to the ministers, convening a national conference, to take recommendations from local people who are directly affected by one environmental problem or the other throughout the federation Daily Trust gathered.

Responding to Daily Trust's question last Wednesday in Abuja, the Minister Bala Mande confirmed that his officials are putting together a plan for a forum to examine the various dimensions of the nation's varying environmental problems.

According to the minister "we don't need to panic, over the enormous environmental problems, but we need to do something urgently "

"President Obasanjo is fully aware and ready to fulfil his objective of a better environment for Nigeria," he told Daily Trust.

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