The federal government has urged oil companies operating in the country to see gas flaring as a global challenge that alters the environment and consequently the ecosystem to advocate the impact of climate change and importance of sustainable living.
Minister of Environment, Mrs. Laurentia Mallam, made the call in Cancun, Mexico, where she is presently participating in the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Assembly. She commended Total Nigeria over its determination to be the first multinational oil corporation to stop offshore gas flaring in Nigeria.
The ministry’s press deputy director, Mr. Ben Bem Goong, said the minister acknowledged that the efforts of Total in this direction are worthy of commendation, urging other oil companies to emulate Total and seek more innovative environmental l friendly approach.
Mrs. Mallam who played host to the Mexican Ambassador in Abuja shortly before her departure to Cancun, pledged to take advantage of the opportunity offered by the Assembly to explore possible areas of strengthening bilateral relations between Nigeria and Mexico mostly on issues such as climate change, biodiversity conservation, sustainable forest management, pollution control and ozone layer depletion substances among others.
Earlier in his address to the minister, the Mexican Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Marco Blanco told the minister that his country is interested in expanding the frontiers of bilateral relations with Nigeria, maintaining that the environment sector offers a veritable platform for cooperation between the two countries.
Presenting some statistics on his country, Mr. Blanco noted that the Spanish speaking country has an estimated population of 120 million people and 42 free trade agreements, and Mexico ranks as the 10th most visited country globally.
With similar demographic and economic characteristics, Mr. Blanco noted that Mexico and Nigeria have similar environmental challenges which they can confront together for the benefit of their own people.