- June 8, 2023
- Posted by: Imo Udokang
- Category: News
*Renewable energy, a key to better environment in the free zones
– OGFZA MD/CEO
- As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to commemorate 2023 World Environment Day, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA), Sen. Tijjani Y. Kaura (MFR) has asserted that “renewable energy is key to a better environment for business to thrive in the free zones”.
He said this while addressing participants at the event organized by the Authority’s Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) department which took place on Monday 5th June 2023 at the Authority’s conference room in Onne.
Giving a historical background, the OGFZA boss informed that the World Environment Day was conceived in Sweden in 1972 when it became necessary for the world to stand against environmental degradation. He informed that this year marks the 50th anniversary and is held in Abidjan, the capital city of Cote D’Ivoire, in collaboration with Netherlands.
World Environment Day is celebrated every year on the 5th of June and aims at raising awareness and celebrating environmental action. The theme of this year, “Solution for Plastic Pollution” was celebrated under the campaign #BeatPlasticPollution, highlighting the need to take concrete action to achieve transformative change in order to tackle the climate crisis.
He informed staff and other participants at the event that the Authority is in the process of providing independent power to ensure availability of green energy in the free zones thereby improving the business environment devoid of pollution for investors in the free zones.
He urged members of staff of the need to increase their role in reduction and prevention of environmental hazards and pollution within the Zones.
“The health and safety of the environment is equally the Health and safety of OGFZA staff, and that of the immediate communities surrounding the Free Zones” He said.
While emphasizing the importance of Environmental safety in the Free Zones, Sen. Kaura disclosed that the Authority created HSE Department, fully dedicated to the sensitization and prevention of Environmental issues within the Free Zones, noting that one of the most important requisites for issuing a Free Zone Licence to any company, is the conduct and submission of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report.
He added that over the years, OGFZA HSE Department has always checkmated other forms of environmental pollution especially from companies and industrial parks within our Free Zones, a role which the department has played effectively in line with International Best practices. He asserted that the Oil and Gas Free Zone in Onne remains one of the most environment-friendly Free Zones in the continent, with Zero Pollution or Hazard in over two decades now.
The guest speaker, Chinedu Anyanwu Golden, an environmentist, in a presentation gave an “Impact of Plastic Bottle Pollution” on earth. He informed participants that plastic bottle pollution has become a pressing global issue, posing significant environmental challenges and detrimental impacts on ecosystems and humans.
Addressing some causes of plastic bottle pollution, Sen. Kaura disclosed that it takes about 400 years for plastic bottles on the earth’s surface to decompose while it takes about a thousand years for same bottle under water to decompose. He therefore recommended that the use of plastic bottles should be reduced to the barest minimum.
Sen. Kaura assured his commitment towards promoting sustainable development and renewable energy sources stating that the Authority will continue to improve on its safety measures, encourage the setting up of Green Industrial parks and eco-friendly industrial practices within the Free Zones to make Nigeria and the rest of the world a healthier and safer place to live.
L-R: MD/CEO OGFZA, SEN. TIJJANI YAHAYA KAURA (MFR); GM ADMINISTRATION, ALENJU NGOFA; DGM TRADE & INVESTMENT, ADAMU KONTAGORA