Professor Omodele Abiodun Eletta Ias stressed the need to secure future of the environment, through the development of waste utilisation and environmental protection.
Prof. Omodele Eletta, Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Ilorin made the call at the 204th Inaugural lecture of the University with the theme “Bad Yet Good: Rummaging And Combatting For Future Water and Land Security”
Prof. Eletta noted that waste can be managed sustainably through the 7Rs of waste management which include reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose, refuse, rot and rethink.
“I present my submission to this great audience as I continue rummaging through wastes to separate values that can be used to combat pollution and to ensure future security for both water land” she said.
She stressed the need for awareness campaign, monitoring and enforcement as key industry stakeholders and educational administrators can be mobilized by the Federal Ministry of Environment and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA) to ensure a cleaner and healthier environment for Nigerians.
” I recommend that there should be a handshake between this body and the academia to collectively achieve the set-out goal of the establishment of the agency.
” Non-compliance to environmental regulations has led to serious degradation of the environment in Nigeria.
“It is recommended that realistic policies and legal structures must be put in place to harmonize government policies among industrial sectors and to develop more holistic interventions and, not just peripheral actions.
“This should be followed up with proper monitoring and enforcement.” She said.
“It is imperative that the amount and available of research grants for indigenous researchers in general and environmental engineers, in particular, be improved upon. The cost implication of getting credible results can be very prohibitive.”
“The use of colour coded bins to add value to waste to arrive at near-zero waste is what can be explored as a nation. It is practiced outside this nation and there is compliance, so I know it is achievable with awareness, monitoring and enforcement. The journey of a thousand miles starts with a step in the right direction” she said.
The Don also stressed the need for University system to collect wastes to make them valuable
“Instead of having wasted waste, we can have wastes that can serve as feedstock to other processes within the community.
This can be achieved by having wastes sorted from the source. This is an academic environment and I know that, with the creation of awareness, monitoring and enforcement, it is possible.
The use of marked coloured bins will go a long way to help add value to the solid waste generated”
Prof. Eletta also stressed the need for cross faculty research ” I have in the course of my studies used a lot of agricultural waste of both plant and animal origins and I believe some of the findings will be useful to the faculty to suit their purpose especially in the area of composting.
“Using products of composting will help to reduce chemical input to the soil and by extension the food chain.
” I recommend that the institution looks into the possibility of establishment of an analytical hub that staff and students can patronize at affordable costs and can also be open to other institutions.
“This will serve as a revenue-generating reliable hub that can be used to improve the system with advancement in technology in the various areas of research.
“While it may not be possible to totally equip such a hub at once, it can be gradually populated with funds generated from the start-up venture” she added.