FG, Scientists Reiterate Commitment To Green, Sustainable Chemistry

FG, Scientists Reiterate Commitment To Green, Sustainable Chemistry

The federal government and scientists have pledged their commitment to achieving environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle by 2030.

This commitment was made on the fact that production and accumulation of plastics and chemicals are causing harm to life on the planet.

The senior special assistant to the president on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, at the American Chemical Society (ACS), Africa Regional Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry, organised by ACS chapters in Egypt, Ghana and Nigeria, on Monday, in Lagos, averred that green and sustainable chemistry is suitable and in line with the transformative promise of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.

Recall that World Leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development during the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2015. The 2030 Agenda for sustainable development envisions a present and a future that is economically sustainable, socially inclusive and environmentally resilient. This vision was expressed through the framing of the 17 SDGs, 169 targets and 230 Key Performance Indicators. Taken together, the SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, safeguard the planet and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity by the year 2030.

Following the historic adoption of the SDGs, Orelope-Adefulire disclosed that the federal government of Nigeria acted immediately in operationalising the SDGs in Nigeria. This is evident with the timely establishment of the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs (OSSAP-SDGs) to provide horizontal and vertical intergovernmental coordination; partnership development; resources mobilisation and management; and monitoring, evaluation and reporting for the SDGs, she added.

Speaking on the progress towards achieving SDGs in Nigeria, the senior special assistant, who was represented by the senior technical advisor on SDGs, the Presidency, Dr. Bala Yusuf Yunusa, stated that  Nigeria’s strategic approach to the implementation of the SDGs can be seen at two different levels – national and Sub-national.


“At the National level, OSSAP-SDGs work closely with the Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to integrate the relevant SDGs into their sectoral policies and plans. At the Sub-national level, similar institutional structures have been adopted by the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Between 2016 to 2023, OSSAP-SDGs has successfully institutionalised the SDGs in Nigeria through the implementation of strategic initiatives and programmes, which includes realignment of the National Statistical System with the SDGs.


“The SDGs have also been mainstreamed into the cardinal pillars of the National Development Plan (2021 – 2025) and Nigeria Agenda 2050. This will ensure that annual budgets are directly funding the SDGs. We are supporting 36 States and FCT on SDG-based Development Planning. So far, 18 states are receiving technical and financial support on SDGs-based development planning. By 2025, we expect to have supported all the 36 states on SDG-based development planning. This will ensure States’ annual budgets are funding the implementation of the SDGs at the sub-national level,” she disclosed.


Orelope-Adefulire recognised that dwindling financial resources, COVID-19 pandemic, and persistent insecurity across the country have all combined to slow down progress in the achievement of the SDGs in Nigeria, while seeking expertise and resources from the public and private sectors; development partners, academia, and the wider Civil Society in support of the SDGs.


She however reiterated the federal government’s commitment to working closely with key stakeholders in a whole-of-government and whole-of society approach to fast track the achievement of the SDGs in Nigeria.


In his remarks, the chairman, ACS Nigeria International Chemical Sciences Chapter, Prof. Joshua Ayoola Obaleye, said the aim of the conference is to see that all African nations are able to go along this trend of green chemistry, adding that, it is time for all Africans to see the green nature of this continent and never allow it to decolorize but remain sustain and fresh at all time.


In order to do this, Obaleye advocated that all stakeholders must work together in love and join hands to promote green and sustainable chemistry.  “Green chemistry, also known as sustainable chemistry, is a branch of chemistry and chemical engineering that focuses on designing processes and products that reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances.The little contribution of today will lead to our coast enlargement of tomorrow. I call everyone to stand towards scientific development of this continent,” he added.


“We eat plastic, which goes into our body. This is dangerous to our health, hence the need to reverse the trend by setting up a green and sustainable chemistry committee, as an effort to develop, promote, and foster a departmental culture of green and sustainable chemistry through integration into teaching, research, and community engagement. These initiatives will equip our students and researchers with the skills and mindset to be stewards in protecting the planet and to model the essential role of chemistry for a sustainable future,” professor and organic chemistry laboratory director, University of Minnesota, USA, Jane Wissinger, advocated.


Meanwhile, critical stakeholders, including the senior special assistance to the president on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), senior special assistant to the president on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; vice-chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Folashade Ogunsola and vice-chancellor of the University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani, Prof. Elvis Asare-Bediako, among others, were honoured for their contributions to green and sustainable chemistry in Nigeria.

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