Wednesday, June 18, 2014 1:24 pm
Abuja – No fewer than 600,000 jobs can be created for Nigerian youths yearly through businesses that promote clean environment, encourage recycling and cut down carbon emissions, an environmental youth team leader, has said.
Mr Hamzat Lawal, the Coordinator, Nigerian Youth Climate Action Network, a coalition of youth organisations, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday.
He noted that the ‘Waste-to-Wealth’ programme proposed by environmentalists to encourage recycling and overall sanitation across the country, could provide a greater percentage of the jobs.
“Climate change offers a lot of opportunities in green businesses.
“If government invests or creates the enabling environment, the environment sector can create over 600,000 jobs yearly for young people; this is a huge opportunity if it is being utilised appropriately.”
Lawal reiterated the need for good recycling measures to tackle the huge amount of waste generated and dumped across the country which, he said, caused pollution, environmental degradation and ill health.
While noting the central role youths play in the execution of environmental projects and mitigation of climate change, Lawal stressed the need for cleaner measures to sustain the environment.
“We all know that the awareness on recycling is quite low in this area of the world due to our policy framework and the lack of the enabling environment, but it’s a huge potential.
“We can generate innumerable jobs through recycling; we believe that youth advocacy programmes will ignite policy implementation and push government to take the responsibility to create the enabling environment for recycling,” he said.
The youth coordinator also stressed the need for loan schemes for youths engaged in environmental entrepreneurial activities, noting that improved techniques in cleaning the environment was pioneered by youths.
“There are many young people engaging in entrepreneurial skills and creating jobs out of waste; if government can invest in these people, other youths can learn from them.
“We need policies that give us access to finance, enable us to approach banks like the Bank of Industry and other development banks to get grants or loans of low interest.
“This way, investment in the environment sector will be guaranteed and green businesses and jobs will be created to uplift youths in the country,” he said.