To promote a circular economy and reduce waste generation, Nigeria needs to encourage and promote responsible consumption amongst the citizens, experts in clean energy and environment have said.
The experts, who spoke at the 6th edition of the Concrete Ideas conference hosted by Lafarge Africa in Lagos recently, said also that Nigeria could become an attractive global destination for investment in clean energy.
This, they said, could only happen when government and all the stakeholders in the energy sector take bolder steps to combat the many problems militating against the mass adoption and use of renewable energy in the country, adding that the many advantages that clean energy offers must be fully harnessed.
The experts are in agreement that each stakeholder in the clean energy value chain must play his part optimally as weak adoption of circular economy choices by any group of stakeholders would affect the whole system.
It is their belief that doing all these or making Nigeria a global energy investment destination would allow the country to fund the transition towards lower carbon sources of energy such as wind, water, sun and biomass.
Unlike the earlier editions of the Concrete Ideas Series which focused mainly on real estate and infrastructure, this edition brought together industry experts, business leaders and key decision-makers in the energy and waste management sector to examine Nigeria’s strategy for transition to clean or renewable energy.
The experts also highlighted the opportunities the transition presents for Nigerian businesses and for boosting energy supply to reduce Nigeria’s huge energy deficit.
This, according to officials of the company which is chiefly known for cement manufacturing, was part of the reasons for organizing a two-panel session with the themes, ‘The Business of Clean Energy: Opportunities for Industries and SMEs’ and ‘Promoting Circular Economy Through Sustainable Waste Management Practices.’
“Today’s subject is not just about chemistry, not just about Geocycle or decarbonization; it is about stimulating every part of our economy, creating incentives for investors in clean energy and for people and businesses to embrace the use of clean energy products and technologies,” Adebode Adefioye, chairman, Lafarge Africa, said.
The chairman added that clean energy allowed Nigeria not only to boost its energy supply and create new high-value jobs, but also to be at the forefront of reducing carbon emissions and saving the planet.
“Therefore, the whole idea is to bring people together to be able to stimulate ideas; even the banks and broader financial sector, to involve them in creating innovative tech and financial products that allow us to generate and use energy more effectively and productively,” he said.
Khaled El Dokani, Lafarge Africa’s Country CEO, noted that fighting climate change and making the transition towards a greener economy required a concerted effort by industries, individuals and the government.
He noted further that, as a leader in innovation, Lafarge would continue to collaborate with stakeholders, adding, “we expect that the discussions by a range of industry experts and public officials here present today, will provide a clear view of the business of clean energy and reveal the opportunities, insights and strategic agenda for leaders in the private and public sectors to accelerate our society’s access to clean energy.”
Adedokun, the Head of Geocycle at Lafarge Africa also made a presentation to the audience about Geocycle’s operations as a leading provider of industrial, agricultural and municipal waste management services. Geocycle pre-processes and co-processes non-recyclable waste into a safe, usable resource with no residue.
Ola Oresanya, immediate past commissioner for environment, Ogun State, commended Lafarge Africa for the job it was doing by taking the lead in the circular economy through its Geocycle operations, saying, “Geocycle, a Lafarge subsidiary, works with manufacturers to collect waste such as non-recyclables and other hazardous wastes to co-process them in its cement kiln.”
“Out of the big players in Ogun State, Lafarge is the only one that has been consistent. They are the only company that has been engaging with us. They have invested in research to partner with the government and the private sector to solve the problem of waste,” Oresanya added.