By Rebecca Ejifoma
The federal government has revealed plans to collect 200,000 tonnes of e-waste (electronic waste) in the country to reduce the environmental impact for a safer and cleaner environment.
This was made known at the five days training for enforcement officers and value chain for the Expanded Producers Responsibility (EPR) under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) project.
The training aims to reduce the environmental impact of e-wastes by ensuring that producers take responsibility in the management of wastes from their products.
According to the DG/CEO National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Prof. Aliyu Jauro, “we know that e-waste is becoming an environmental problem people tend to dispose equipment any how.
“We also have informal recyclers that collect e-wastes, and recycle them anyhow. In the process of recycling, it impacts on the environment, because electronic waste contains a lot of hazardous substances ranging from heavy metals.
“Most of these recyclers do this in an informal way; thereby, impacting on the environment and on the workers.”
Consequently, the NESREA boss hinted that the regulators will go round to ensure that everything is done in a sound environmental manner.
On the importance of the training, Jauro mentioned that “Nigeria received support from the United Nations Environment Programme through the global environmental facility for us to showcase how this recycling of e-waste should be done.
“We have a pilot project here in Lagos. We are targeting collection of 200,000 tonnes of e-waste so that we will showcase the best way to go about it”.
Afterwards, the Jauro outlined that they hope to replicate the initiative in other states across the country. “This is the first country where this will be showcased for the first time.”
In his reaction, the Director Corporate Affairs and SON Consultancy, Dr Justin Bartholomew Nickaf, commended the training.
“The programme is a laudable one that puts responsibility of products on the producer even after the product has outlived its useful life.
“They should take accountability throughout its life cycle in ensuring that at the end it is safely disposed of in a manner that is environmentally responsible.”
In his view, the training will give the regulators the capacity to evaluate the compliance of this electronic products’ manufacturers to this programme objectives.
As the director of corporate affairs, he said SON would also benefit from the programme because “we are part of the Nigerian society. A cleaner environment is what we all want to bequeath to our next generation”.