Home News FG develops policy on management of e-waste — Minister

FG develops policy on management of e-waste — Minister


Abuja- The Federal Ministry of Environment said on Wednesday it had developed a draft policy and strategic plan on the management of electronic waste (e-waste) in the country.

The Minister of Environment, Mrs Laurentia Mallam, said this in Abuja at the Consultative Stakeholders’ Workshop on the Management of Electrical and Electronic Waste in Nigeria.

Represented by Mr Abdul-Kazeem Bayero, the acting Director, Pollution and Environmental Health Department in the ministry, Mallam said the Federal Government was determined to address the challenge of e-waste.

“The Federal Ministry of Environment is determined to avert the environmental hazards of ever increasing toxic heavy metal contained in the electrical/ electronic equipment in our environment.

“So, far the ministry has developed draft policy, guidelines and strategic plan on the management of e-waste which are all awaiting ratification by relevant stakeholders.

“Furthermore, regulations on the management of e-waste have been prepared by the National Environmental Standard Regulation and Enforcement Agency (NESREA), which has been approved and are in force.

“Federal Executive Council has restricted the importation of the e-waste into the country because of the hazardous components of e-waste and lack of capacity to manage it an environmental sound manner by the informal sector,“ she stated.

The minister said that Nigeria was a signatory to international conventions and agreements that address chemical management issue.

She said that the instruments were responsible for global success in the management of hazardous waste in everyday life.

“It is my expectation that partnership in the field of chemical management especially on the e-waste stream should be strengthened to equip Africa Countries including Nigeria.

“It should be strengthened with the necessary tools to overcome the challenges of managing the ever increasing quantum of e-waste.

“It is also my sincere hope that the workshop will achieve its objective of strengthening stakeholders’ collaboration and partnerships on the management of e-waste in Nigeria and other African Countries.“

According to her, electronic and information technology industry is the largest and fastest growing industry in today’s manufacturing world.

“This industry thrives on rapid technology changes, which lead to accelerated discards of older models.

“The discarded older models called e-waste, form a rapidly growing waste stream in the world, with the attendant negative environmental and health impacts.

“These e-wastes find their way through legal and illegal imports into countries in Asia and Africa such as Nigeria.

“The challenge of complying with stringent environmental safeguards and controls in developing countries; and the economic costs in the developed countries are responsible for adoption of the easier option of exporting e-wastes to developing countries.

“Consequently, most of these e-wastes are shipped to African countries under the guise of second hand or near-end- of life equipment, either as gifts or illegally through the ports,“ she said.

Mallam, however, said that it was estimated by Osibanjo and Nnorom (2007) that by 2030, developing countries would be discarding 400-700 million obsolete person computers per year.

This, she said, was in addition to 200-300 million obsolete computers in developed countries, thus further compounding the problem.

In his address, Dr Abdu Bulama, the Minister of Science and Technology, said that electronic waste could have been described as loosely discarded, surplus, obsolete, or broken electrical or electronic devices.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Bulama was represented by Mr Agoro Olayinola, the Chief Scientific Officer in the ministry.

The minister said that the geometric increase in electronic waste generated and available for disposal was not unconnected to the rapid changes in technology.

He attributed the increase in generation of electronic waste to the quest for highly sophisticated electronic software and equipment.

“It has become imperative to channel a proper way of managing and controlling our electronic waste by creating a policy framework that will ensure strict compliance to the rules and regulations guiding importation of electronics and other relevant equipment,“ he said.

NAN reports that the workshop was organised by the UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment and other stakeholders.

The objective of the workshop is to bring together stakeholders to develop sustainable strategies on the use of demonstrated (pilot) Best Technologies/Best Environmental Practices.

Best practices for the reduction of Unintentionally Produced Persistent Organic Pollutants (U-POPs) and Polybrominated DiphenyI Ethers (PBDEs) released from e-waste recycling and disposal. (NAN)

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