Environment experts have urged the Federal Government to convert Nigeria’s industrial, municipal and domestic waste to wealth for the country and jobs for the citizens.
The experts, who are specialised in waste and asset management say Nigeria has thousands of tonnes of waste from its large population which can be recycled or converted to energy for power generation.
Speaking at the forum on Wednesday on Assets and Waste Management in Abuja, the British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Simon Shercliff, noted that at least 90,000 Britons earn a living managing waste.
He asked Nigeria to tap into this opportunity which environmentalists said was a great option in economy diversification.
The experts, however, noted that before Nigeria’s waste can be converted to wealth, public enlightenment is necessary before legislation and enforcement will follow.
They also expressed the need for the government to buy into the programme for it to be possible.
In their remarks, the Ogun State Commissioner for Environment, Bolaji Oyeleye, and a consultant, Chidi Umeano, also proposed waste management as a good source of income for Nigeria, considering the increasing population.
Channels Television’s Omelogo Nnadi, reports that Nigeria’s population has been estimated to hit 250 million by 2050, adding that this increase in population also means a huge increase in waste generated, both domestic and industrial.
Residents of Lapeleke community, in Ewekoro local government area of Ogun State, have claimed that the industrial activities of cement company, Lafarge, constitute an abuse to their crops and buildings, and have demanded compensation for the alleged loss of their livelihood the industrial activities have caused.
The residents claimed that their crops and other economic trees were abused as a result of flaring by the cement giant.
According to them, most of the buildings in the area had seen better days, with some of them collapsing due to environmental abuse.
These claims have, however, been denied by Lafarge.
Following an intervention by the Ogun State Commissioner for Environment, Mr Ayo Olubori, who visited the community, the state government had challenged companies and industries operating in the state, to ensure internationally acceptable best practises in their operations with their host communities especially to ensure a hygienic and habitable environment.
During an on the spot assessment of the level of the alleged destruction to the farmlands in the community, the commissioner encouraged the company as well as other industries operating in the state to ensure a harmonious industrial relationship with their host communities.