Nigeria can no longer be dumping ground for e-waste – Minister

THE Federal Ministry of Environment on Wednesday kicked against the influx of electronic wastes and other used electrical appliances into the country.

Sharon Ikeazor, Minister of State for Environment during an event to commemorate the International E-Waste Day (IEWD), Abuja frowned at the several reported cases of dumping of electronic wastes into the country.

Ikeazor said besides the environmental implications of these wastes, they also pose a serious danger to healthy living.

Nigeria, she noted has received large volumes of Used Electrical Equipment (UEEE) under the guise of ‘bridging the digital divide,’ noting that a large chunk of it has been discovered to be e-waste.

“This unsound waste is a fall-out from the rapid transformation in the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) sector,” Ikeazor said.

“In 2018 alone, about 50 million tons of e-waste was generated globally, with only 35 per cent officially reported as collected and recycled.”

According to her, e-waste contains several toxic and Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), or Hydrochlorocarbons (HCFCs), which if not well managed could harm the environment and human health.

However, the minister disclosed that the government is fulfilling its global commitment through the establishment of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) and promulgation of necessary regulations.

    The country, she said also got support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded project on ‘Circular Economy Approaches for the Electronics Sector in Nigeria Project’.

    “This project supports the collection and treatment of 300 tons of e-waste under the implementation framework of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), with NESREA as the executing agency for the project,” the Minister added.

    The international e-waste day movement commenced in 2018 and is celebrated annually on October 14.

    IEWD stimulates awareness on the effect of e-waste to promote political will, attention, and public action.

    Olugbenga heads the Investigations Desk at The ICIR. Do you have a scoop? Shoot him an email at [email protected]. Twitter Handle: @OluAdanikin

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