The Benue Government said it has concluded plans to create over 5,000 jobs in the state using its Waste to Wealth management programme.
Mr Nathaniel Ikyur, Senior Special Assistant to Gov. Samuel Ortom on Public Utilities, Sanitation and Environment, stated this on Tuesday at a One-Day Stakeholders meeting in Makurdi.
Ikyur regretted that about 2,000 metric tonnes of waste materials "are being generated by Makurdi residents alone on a daily basis," Ikyur.
He said the waste management project included the establishment of a fertiliser blending plant that would harness waste products for its raw materials.
"This project will tackle the twin issue of poverty and unemployment in the state and generate over 5,000 direct and indirect jobs in the next four years.
"Our main aim is to make waste become wealth, turn refuse into resources and convert trash to cash in the state".
He regretted the uncooperative posturing of waste creators, lamenting that their attitudes were a strain on the efficiency of the state waste management agency.
He regretted that major highways and streets in Benue had fast become dump sites.
Ikyur attributed the menace to ignorance and negligence of the people.
"Our people see the flowing drains as the easiest way for garbage disposal; it is also common to see people throwing things out on the highways from their cars and these dirty habits are detrimental to our common good."
He explained that such dirty habits were responsible for blocked drains and waterways during the rains.
He also announced the closure of all motor parks operating in residential areas, and assured that existing parks would be upgraded.
In a power point presentation, a university don, Barns Ikyo, called for sustained enlightenment of the people through healthy sanitation habits.
Ikyo advised government to provide "specific and accessible areas" of refuse sites for effective disposal of refuse and waste management in the state.
Participants at the meeting urged government agencies charged with environmental matters to adopt quick response measures to environmental issues.
NAN reports that the meeting was jointly organised by the office of the Senior Special Assistant on Environment and Benue State Environmental Sanitation Authority (BENSESA).
Major stakeholders at the meeting were; National Association of Transport Owners (NATO) National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Christian Association of Nigeria ( CAN)), the Nigeria Union of Journalists(NUJ), environment experts and Academics amongst others. NAN