The Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN has expressed optimism that part of the nation’s economic challenges associated with employment generation and wealth creation would soon be addressed through the various creative programmes being initiated by the Federal Government.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Waste-to-Wealth programme using appropriate technologies by the Ministry of Science and Technology in Akure, Governor Akeredolu appreciated the Federal Government for the choice of Ondo State as the pilot state for the programme in Southwest geopolitical zone of Nigeria.

“This message is good music to the ears of the people of our dear state considering the financial difficulty which is our lot at present.

“The knowledge of the possibility of converting waste disposal to generation of wealth is exciting. More interesting is the availability of the technical know-how.

“We are more than excited that our state has been chosen as the pilot site for the programme which will be in the six geo-political zones in the country. Indigenes and residents of the state are more than ready to learn how to participate in this innovating scheme,” the governor said.

While saying that the generation of waste and its disposal should form part of new learning for safe and healthy living, Governor Akeredolu explained that living entails passing away while nothing is indeed a waste.

“A discarded material announces the end of a purpose for which it is designed, waiting for a yet-to-be determined end. Our material world is whole and indivisible.

“Therefore, Waste-to-Wealth brings forth a new freshness to a seeming despondent state of affairs in the polity.

“Domestic waste is generated and disposed in ways that are inimical to the well being of the society. This waste, both solid and liquid, often poses hazard to the health and safety of the society.

“Drainages are blocked with debris, buildings erected on easement and petroleum by-products such as polythene bags, nylon, plastic, disused boxes, household utensils, scraps of disused vehicles and machines, among others, litter everywhere,” he said.

Arakunrin Akeredolu added that what would ordinarily constitute a challenge to man, by the very circumstances of our existence now held the promise to be a veritable source of income, if humans learned new ways of doing things.

Inaugurating the project the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to accelerate the pace of development anchored on effective deployment of values of science, technology and innovation.

He said the Ministry would continue to use science, technology and innovation to lay the transformation of the nation to attain the greatness Nigeria was destined for.

Adding that the programme would enable the conversion of waste to valuable economic goods and services, to help create wealth and jobs, reduce poverty, help defeat hunger and stimulate national consciousness in the power of science and technology as an important instrument for nation building.

“I am also confident that this programme, if properly implemented will help our great nation effectively and efficiently convert the huge amount of waste generated in abundance in both rural and urban areas, into very useful products to promote happiness of our people.

“Through this programme, by using appropriate technologies, we will help ensure that what becomes waste for one household can become useful for another.

The Minister urged Nigerians to lend their support to the program, embrace it, and expressed confidence that it would serve the people of the zone as well as Nigeria.

In his welcome address, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor, Pastor Akin Olotu assured that Ondo State would make a success of the project for the achievement of its desired goals.

Dignitaries at the Ceremony, include Management Staff of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology; top government functionaries in Ondo State;

representatives of the Governor of Ekiti State; Chairmen of the 18 Local Government Councils in Ondo State with their Supervisors and environmental activists from both private and public sectors.