• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Nigeria finalises roadmap to transition into a Circular Economy

Circular Economy

…Calls for collective action among stakeholders

Nigeria has put the finishing touches to its circular economy roadmap, a policy document that will enable the country to transition from a linear economy to a circular economy.

With the collaboration of the Consul-General of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Lagos and the Circular Economy Innovation Partnership, the country was able to put together a comprehensive roadmap that would be launched on April 3.

Speaking at the closing day of the Circular Economy Strategy Week held in Lagos, Olubunmi Olusanya, director of Pollution Control and Environmental Health at the Federal Ministry of Environment, said the Circular Economy Roadmap involves the industrial, agricultural and food system, energy, solid mineral and mining, construction, water system and waste sectors.

According to him, transitioning to a Circular Economy requires collective actions that involve the government, private sector and individuals.

“We appeal to all to take responsibility for these actions because the best legacy to leave for the future generation is to preserve our environment by maximising all the opportunities that Circular Economy has to offer,” he said.

Olusanya said that after the launch of the roadmap government will set up a committee to see to the implementation of the action plans and it requires the partnership of every stakeholder.

“The private sector plays a pivotal role in driving the transition to Circular Economy by developing and producing circular products and services. Without the involvement of the private sector and businesses, the circular economy implementation may struggle,” he said.

He commended the Consul-General of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Lagos and the Circular Economy Innovation Partnership for knowledge sharing and driving the stakeholders’ engagements.

Also speaking, Tokunbo Wahab, commissioner of the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources for Lagos State, said the state is willing to push forward the implementation of the policy document when launched because the circular economy is the future.

Pointing out that the essential part of transitioning into a circular economy is not about the present but about posterity, the commissioner said that Lagos generates 13,000 tons of waste daily, and much of it can be used to generate energy that can power industries that are sprouting in the Lekki area of Lagos.

On the ban on single-use Styrofoam, Wahab said Lagos has been spending billions to clean drainages polluted with Styrofoam yearly in preparation for the rainy season.

According to him, Styrofoam is non-degradable waste and Nigerians including investors must look inward to source local alternatives.

Muyiwa Gbadegesin, managing director of LAWMA, said they are looking for to receiving the details of the Circular Economy action plan and strategies for them to implement.

According to him, LAWMA is determined to build a Circular Economy ecosystem that would benefit residents of Lagos with the help of the Ministry of Environment.

During the harmonisation of ideas, the stakeholders critically examined four work streams including waste management, e-waste management, food and agricultural and waste to energy.

Under the waste management, stakeholders identified five focus areas that constitute heavy waste materials including flip-flops slippers, plastic sachets, tyres, Styrofoam and cinder blocks.

They proposed reinventing the production process of flip-flop into a circular process, promoting sustainable waste collection, upcycling and recycling.

According to them, producing durable and quality flip-flops will help to reduce waste generation.

In terms of waste generated from sachet water, they called for the establishment of a circular economy hub to address the gaps around collection, processing and treatment.

They pointed out they need to create a market for off-takers, increase the value, establish a drop-off centre and reduce carbon emissions involved in recycling the plastic sachet water.

In the agricultural and food sector, stakeholders pointed out the need to improve farmers’ knowledge of Nigeria’s agricultural ecosystem to be able to reduce food loss using circular economy principles.

They said there is a need to address the challenges of limited access to information by farmers using a multifaceted approach, suggesting the need to invest in infrastructure, technology and capacity building.

“A communication platform will connect farmers with stakeholders and give access to information such as weather patterns, market prices and a technology that would help farmers make informed decisions. There is a need to build communication infrastructure to reduce food loss, and improve farmers’ productivity and competitiveness,” they suggested.