25 October, 2022

Buhari Hails Mayor Of Lisbon For Shielding Nigerians Fleeing Russia-Ukraine War

Nigeria has pledged its commitment to an international, legally-binding instrument aimed at reducing the menace of marine plastic pollution from land-based sources and activities.

This is as President Muhammadu Buhari, expressed heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to the Mayor of Lisbon, Carlos Moedas, and the City Council members, for accommodating Nigerians that fled from Ukraine when the Russia-Ukraine war broke out.

The Federal Government’s commitment to reducing marine plastic pollution was contained in a statement delivered on Buhari’s behalf, by the Minister of State for Environment, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, at the 2022 UN Ocean Conference, in Lisbon, Portugal.

Highlighting the country’s efforts at ensuring the health and sustainability of oceans, seas, and marine resources, Buhari said that a National Policy on Plastic Pollution, and the Road Map on Tackling Solid and Plastic Waste Management have been formulated and established.

The president, who lauded the United Nations for leading the process of effective ocean governance, said Nigeria had mainstreamed ocean management into the economy, constituting a Presidential Committee on Sustainable Blue Economy.

He also announced that Nigeria has embarked on the creation of two marine protected areas, even as he reaffirmed the country’s commitment to participating constructively in the ongoing negotiations for various multilateral agreements, including on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

The entire southern border of Nigeria is the Atlantic Ocean, with a coastline of about 853km being the longest in the West African region.

It is endowed with enormous biodiversity resources, such as the freshwater and mangrove forest ecosystems, with diverse species of fauna and flora.

We acknowledge the fact that a healthy ocean and coastal environment is key to sustainable development. We must, therefore, conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources. The ocean is key to the global economy, with an estimated 40 million people projected to be employed by ocean-based industries by 2030.

Buhari, while meeting with Moedas and the council members said also congratulated the mayor and his party on their electoral victory, and his emergence as the Mayor of Lisbon.

The city of Lisbon shares a number of similarities with some Nigerian cities such as Lagos, the former capital of Nigeria, whose name was given by the Portuguese explorer Rui de Sequeira, who visited in 1472, naming the area around the city, Lago de Curamo, which means Lake of Curamo.

Both cities are rich in history and are also commercial nerve centres that host multinational corporations, industries, and major seaports. We are optimistic that these shared features can be harnessed to promote increased trade and people-to-people contact for the benefit of our two countries.

The Mayor of Lisbon, extolled Nigeria’s greatness, especially in her ability to turn diversity into greatness, saying: “We have one thing in common. We believe diversity is key. Nigeria is a great nation. Former President Obama said that about you, that you strive to overcome division and turn Nigeria’s diversity into a source of strength, so you are able to build the largest economy in Africa. I so much agree with that.”

The mayor, while presenting the keys of the City of Lisbon to President Buhari, emphasised the cultural, historical, political, and diplomatic ties between Lisbon and Abuja, describing the keys as “a token of respect and appreciation.”

Original Article Source: guardian.ng/news/nigeria-commits-to-tackle-marine-plastic-pollution/

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