The Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) says the nation’s economy may dwindle further if the government does not wake up to its responsibilities in providing basic environmental safety for its citizens.
Director of the organization, Nnimmo Bassey, gave the warning in Port Harcourt during a meeting with volunteers who are passionate about protecting the environment.
Bassey said unhealthy citizens couldn’t contribute their quota to the economic growth of any country, regretting that most Nigerians are sick either physically or otherwise.
He pointed out that environmental devastations still occur in the country daily and consequently, affecting the health of the populace.
Bassey said, “ Government needs to understand that without the citizens, there is no government, and if government fails to provide basic environmental safety for the people, the economy will be drastically affected.
“Corporate Social Responsibility is futile without adherence to environmental safety laws and if government or the oil companies build schools, and the children cannot go to those school due health challenges occasioned by pollution, build hospitals, there are no body to go there, it doesn’t make sense.
“If a government does not have a healthy population, its economy will definitely be in a bad shape, but when you take care of the environment, there will be less cost and less agitations from the people.
“Government needs to understand that environmental health is basic pre-requisite for economic growth, an investment in the environment sector is tantamount to an investment to the educational sector, and should not be neglected,” he stressed.
The environmentalist however, stressed the need to empower regulatory agencies like the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), National Oil Spill Detective Regulatory Agency (NOSDRA) among others to diligently carry out their duties.
“The regulatory agencies need to be well positioned, properly equipped to be able have access to locations, detect and sanction defaulters, “ he added. The Guardian