From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
President, Waste Management Society of Nigeria (WAMASON), Prof. Oladele Osibanjo, has stated that strict enforcement on waste management regulations would revamped the waste to wealth economy in the country.
Osibanjo made the statement at the weekend, during the third international waste summit in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The two-day summit tagged “Waste Management in an Emerging Economy: Challenges and Opportunities”, was geared towards harnessing inherent economic and preservative gains in the sub sector.
Osibanjo noted that the United Nations (UN) sustainable development goal acknowledged that waste management must be carried out in an environmentally sound manner bearing in mind that development is not destruction.
He said: “Sadly, developmental policies and programmes running in billions of naira are most times, being executed without proper consideration for attendant ecological cost on such projects.
“How much of water, air and environmental pollution resulting from a project must be adequately considered before project implementation. This will properly assist mitigate long and short term environmental impacts.
“Stakeholders/contractors in the value chain of any given developmental project must begin to pay distinct percentage for waste, so that no company, nor government singlehandedly bears the brunt”.
In an online visual contribution, Mr. Carlos Filho, President, International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), said that there was need for a conscious effort towards salvaging the earth ecosystem.
He noted that currently, humans generate not less than 2 billion tonnes of solid waste annually, adding that the figure is expected to double by 2050. Hence, the need for a global intervention in waste management and its economic value chain.
Filho noted: “The scale of human intervention on the earth ecosystem (environment) has grown to an unprecedented high level.
“The post-COVID-19 economy shall focus on taping into economic gains in waste management in line with preservation of the human and natural ecosystem”.
Similarly, Mr. Ossai Reuben, Chief Executive Officer, INITIATES Plc, a waste management company, stressed the need for robust funding for the waste management sector.
He urged government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure adequate funding for investors in the economically viable sector.
The waste management expert warned that any growing economy that does not have an equivalent waste management initiative was heading for destruction.
Highlights of the event were awards to some eminent members of the union, as well as admission of 20 new Fellows into the College of Fellow of ‘Waste Management Society of Nigeria’.