No less than N4.8bn is being expended annually to evacuate wastes in the major districts of Abuja, covering phases one to three, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Muhammad Bello, has said.
Bello said this when he addressed and declared open the 15th National Council of Environment (NCE) which was held in Abuja with the theme: “Appraisal of the Emerging Challenges and the Opportunities in the Environment Sector, a call for Action Towards the Environment of our Dream.”
Bello said the pressure of clearing waste in the organized part of the city was one thing while describing waste disposal cost in Satellite towns as “another thing.”
The minister who said the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had a focus on going green pointed out that one of the major challenges of the city in this direction was the transportation system.
In view of this, the FCT minister requested the intervention of the ministry of environment to support the territory in the conversion of street and traffic lights in the city center to be in compliance with the green initiative.
“The pressure of handling municipal waste is very expensive. We spend on average, N400 million per month on Phase 1, Phase 2, and phase 3.
“If you look at that in a year you will be talking of N4.8b annually. Going to the other Satellite town is something else.
“I am sure as we discuss issues of global warming climate change, carbon emissions control, let us know that physically, it is a huge challenge but also it is a good opportunity to convert waste to wealth. It is a reality as honourable commissioners in your various states, this is something you can look at.
“It has to be funded, it is very clear from experience here that it cannot just be done by government alone, a partnership between the government and the private sector.
“Our focus as we move forward is to gradually replace the power system here. I will like to appeal to the honourable minister of environment to complete this up as we retrofit a number of traffic lights in the various intersections and a number of street lights, all to go solar.
“I hope you will also be able to create a window in your 2022 mechanism, either under the green wall or any other facilities available, so that we can support the city of Abuja as well as other cities in Nigeria.
“On the long term, we are trying to oversee, though gradually, the support system as we are going to make this extension go clean, particularly for our public transportation.”