The Federal Government said on Monday that it would establish a waste management pilot plant in Benue.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu said this when he launched the “National Waste-to-Wealth Programme’’ in the North Central zone.

Onu said that the plant would be used to effectively manage waste product in the zone.

He said that Benue with its rich natural and agricultural resources made the state the choice location for the establishment of the waste management pilot plant.

The minister said that it would serve as model for other states in the zone.

“It is therefore imperative that the waste management sector be rehabilitated and equipped with technology driven concepts and techniques that are environmentally safe to help explore and extract the opportunities hidden within waste.

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“The pilot plant when installed will enable us convert our waste to valuable economic goods and services and help stimulate national consciousness to empower science and technology as an important instrument for national rebirth, sustainable development and enduring prosperity,’’ he said.

Represented by the Director, Science and Technology Education, Mr Udon Ekang, Onu said that the project, when completed would to address unemployment, poverty and crime through its numerous empowerment benefits.

He said that the plant would also create jobs in various sectors of waste management for both women and youths as well as the establishment of SMEs in the zone.

Onu said that government would soon commence the project in the other states in the zone for total cleansing and development for creation of employment and reduction of criminality.

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“We are confident that every Nigerian, regardless of ethnic origin, religious persuasion or status in the society has a right to live a decent life in a society with government he or she can trust in the pursuit of enduring happiness.

“The waste-to-wealth programme, I believe will make the difference in our search for a new Nigeria.

“A Nigerian that will deploy science and technology to feed her citizens, restore her self-confidence and improve her capacity for export trade, export earnings, and strengthen our currency,’’ he said.

In his remark, Gov. Samuel Ortom commended the Federal Government for fulfilling the APC campaign promises to Benue people in the areas of creating wealth and jobs.

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Ortom said that the project would reduce crime, environmental degradation and pollution in the state.

He assured that the Benue government would support all Federal Government projects in the state.

Earlier, the Benue Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Dennis Ityavyar described science as very powerful in providing solutions to environmental challenges.

Ityavyar said that the “key challenges of our time in this country is the management of waste. In other countries waste is wealth.’’

He said that the state government was committed to the project hence it approved a befitting site on the Naka Road in Makurdi for its site.