International E-waste Day 2019: Nigeria identifies e-waste management with actualisation of SDGs goal

The first-ever commemoration of E-waste Day in Nigeria began on a strong footing as stakeholders converged in Lagos to mark the Day.

Key stakeholders including United Nations Information Centre, UNIC, Nigeria, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, UNIDO, International Labour Organisation, ILO, the Federal Government of Nigeria: National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, NESREA, Lagos State Government: Ministry of Environment and Waste Resources, Lagos State Environment Protection Agency, LASEPA, E-waste Producer Responsibility Organisation Nigeria, EPRON, Allied Association in the Industry gathered at the Computer Village Ikeja for a roadshow to enlighten traders and consumers on the threats and opportunities in E-waste. They concluded the event with a workshop.

The Director, United Nations Information Centre, UNIC, Nigeria, Mr Ronald Kayanja along with major stakeholders at the commemoration of 2019 International E-waste Day in Lagos submitted that with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, E-waste management has become part of the broader quest for sustainability.

Mr Kayanja in his opening remark expressed delight that the realisation of Goal 3: Good health, Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production and Goal 14: Life Below Water were connected to appropriate responses to e-waste management.

He commended stakeholders in Nigeria for rising to the occasion to give due attention to 2019 E-Waste Day Commemoration.

Director-General/CEO (NESREA) Professor Aliyu Jauro stated that the mandate of the Agency includes enforcement of all environmental laws and regulations on the use of equipment or technology that undermine the sanity of the environment

Professor Jauro stressed that NESREA would work with all the implementing partners at ensuring that E-waste was properly managed in Nigeria.

He hinted that a $2 million Global Environment Facility (GEF) programme had been approved for Nigeria under the Chemicals and Waste Focal programme.

The DG NESREA noted that the programme in collaboration with the UN Environment would be implemented in Lagos within the duration of two years.

Oluyomi Banjo of the UNIDO Regional Office, Abuja while delivering a paper on E-waste Global Solutions: Best Practices and Experience Sharing stated that Nigeria generated 263, 030 tonnes of E-waste in 2012 and pointed that UNIDO would continue to provide support for Nigeria to develop an effective E-waste management strategy.

The General Manager, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, (LASEPA) Dr Adedolapo Ayokunle Fasawe said Lagos, with the biggest West African market for new and used electric and electronic equipment, has a great role to play in E-waste management in the country.

She maintained that Lagos with populations of 22 Million people and a market hub for importation and trade, there was the need to promote awareness and streamline regulatory laws in the country.

Mrs Chinyere Emeka-Anuna of the International Labour Organisation submitted that aside from the fact that E-waste has become one of the fastest-growing streams of waste with no signs of its growth slowing down, it also posed a threat to human health, decent work and the environment.

Mrs Chinyere stated that though Nigeria is the 3rd largest generator of e-waste in Africa, with Egypt and South Africa generating 497,000 tonnes and 321,000 tonnes, e-waste should also be seen as a resource for creating decent jobs and fuelling a new generation of sustainable entrepreneurs.

Executive Secretary, E-waste Producer Responsibility Organisation Nigeria, EPRON, Mrs Ibukun Faluyi advocated compliance with the model established for collection and recycling and added that there were lots of economic potentials tied to proper e-waste management in the country.