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Group urges FG to cI arify stand on nuclear energy

How to sustain the environment by •

gOing green

By Tina A. Hassan

ENVIRONMENTAL Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has asked the Federal Government to clarify its position on the conflicting statements credited to two serving ministers on the status of Nigeria's nuclear power projects in the wake of nuclear accident at the ' Fukushima, Daichi plant in Japan. A statement released by the group and signed by its Head of Media, PhUip )akpor, had quoted the Minister of Environment, John Odey as saying that nuclear energy is no longer an option but a necessity, if Nigeria is to meet her energy needs. Contradictory to this statement, Minister of State for Power, Nuhu Wya, told journalists in It:gos that Nigeria would explore other means of power generation in which it has comparative advantage in view of the inherent dangers in nuclear power. ERA/FoEN Executive Director, Nnimmo Bassey expressed worry over the conflicting statements of the duo because Nigerians need to know what the official position of government is on the matter in the interest of public safety and well-being. "We cannot accept divergent views on a dangerous experiment like nuclear power plants and we cannot see the logic behind the environment minister's support

for a technology that former promoters in Europe and other technologically advanced nations are now putting their brakes on;' he said. According to Bassey, "the incoherence in government position on this matter is cause for worry.

With the demonstrated dangers of nuclear plants and considering our low level of preparedness to handle ordinary emergencies, we cannot afford to wait without

By Tina A. Hassan

EOPLE are so famUiar with the environment that most times they take it for granted and are prone to engage in certain practices that can endanger the environment and co!1sequently human existence or life in generaL If we are to view the environment as a living thing that eats and breathes. then perhaps most people would be more careful about what their environment is fed with and how they handle and treat. the environment through practices that have been proven to be degrading.


knowing what tragedy is being brewed by the environment minister or by the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority whose pet dream is to actualize dangerous nuclear projects here:' He said Nigeria has a lluge capacity to generate power from .Human activities such as diverse safe sources which will not bush burning. tree felling. and incomplete combustion of put the nation at risk. "What Nigeria needs now is fuel (fossil fuels especially in motorbikes), indiscriminate clarity in her energy master plan and investment in safe a1terna- . disposal of harmful industrial and household waste and tives that will not harm the enviother harmful pollutants, all ronment and the people. We cannot accept the nuclear option:' he contribute to destabUizing the very environment we live and argued.

grow in, and this is largely due to the releasing of carbon dioxide by these pollutants. These human activities that have grave consequences on the environment have over the years led to the emergence of certain terminologies like climate change, green house effects of global warming and more recently, the term 'going green' or greening. Going green means intentionally involving ourselves in activities that would help reduce carbon emissions into

the environment, embarking on evolving renewable sources .of energy that would ensure environmental sustainabUity, using enVironmentally friendly technologies for the generation of power especially and reduction of harmful waste into the environment th rough recycling. Mr. Sulaimon Arigbadu, the Head of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Human and Environmental Development (HEDA). he said going green is all about adjusting

ol)r life styles and adopting attitudes and practices that would reduce energy waste and protect the environment from degradation or harm. He said ·in involves cutting down on the use of resources in the environment and embarking on renewable sources of energy through practices like recycling of waste, reduced destruction of the ecosystem either through bush burning, overgrazing and other activities that can destroy the ecosystem because that in itself could endanger humans. "Goinggreenisaboutchanging our lifestyles to be more friendly to the very environment we exist in. It is about cutting down on our

energy consumption, reduced carbon emissions and using better environmentally friendly sources of energy:' Tree planting is also part of going green because it encoutages a clean environment that is free of carbon emissions through the process of photosynthesis thereby filtering clean air into the

environment. Once the environment is

damaged as a result of human activities, all living things (includiJIg man) stand the risk of extinctions because the environment exerts great influence on life on earth. According to the Green Energy Society of Nigeria (GESON). Nigeria has a wide option of renewable forms of energy to tap into in order to ensure

environmental sustainability and they include biofuel and biodiesel because emissions from these sources are not dangerous to the environment.

Executive Director of GESON, Tokunbo Jakande said if there is determination on the part of government. Nigeria can convert all waste generated in the country. both human and other organic waste, into ethanol,

a renewable and safe source of energy that can be used as cooking gas in ste~d of the conventional cooking gas generated from fo~' " fueL