During the second edition workshop on Chemical Handlers and Users, held in Abeokuta, Ogun State, the Minister of State for Environment, Dr. Iziaq Kunle Salako, unveiled the Federal Government’s plans to establish recycling facilities in all 774 Local Government Areas across Nigeria. This strategic move is aimed at fostering a circular economy and reinforcing sustainable practices within the country. The Ogun State Environmental Protection Agency (OGEPA) have collaborated to host the workshop themed “Chemicals and Waste Management: Circular Solutions for a Sustainable Economy”.
Salako, in his keynote speech, declared that the circular economy roadmap for Nigeria is set to be fully initiated by the Federal Ministry of Environment as a key deliverable within the 8 presidential priority areas. Several challenges hinder the implementation of a circular economy in Nigeria, reflected in many issues. Among them are deficient policy, legal and regulatory frameworks that do not suffice, insufficient financial allocation to foster the concept, unaffordable recycling technologies that fall short, a scarcity of information regarding alternative options, limited public awareness, and inadequate data availability.
Sustainable circular economy principles and practices will be adopted.
He explained that the ministry is actively implementing measures to encourage the adoption of sustainable circular economy principles and practices nationwide. This includes the initiation of a comprehensive program for recycling plastic waste, with the ambitious goal of setting up a minimum of one plastic recycling facility in each of the 774 Local Government Areas across the country. Salako highlighted the government’s intention to establish a waste management system rooted in community engagement. This approach aims to foster active participation from local communities by promoting contemporary practices like waste categorization, separation, organic decomposition, and utilization.
In spite of the obstacles at hand, the Minister expressed the firm determination of the Federal Government headed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to establish a thriving and sustainable economy for the nation. Thus, his department, the Federal Ministry of Environment, will take a significant step towards this goal in 2024 by initiating the complete execution of the circular economy roadmap, as outlined in the 8 key priority areas set by the President. In order to establish a robust circular economy, the ministry has utilized an array of strategies to cultivate sound principles and practices within the nation proactively.
Any identified shortcomings in the initiative will be tackled.
Amongst these actions are the enhancement of pertinent policies and the reinforcement of institutional and regulatory frameworks to tackle any identified shortcomings effectively. Enhancing the abilities of manufacturers and producers to adopt cleaner production and circular economy principles within their business practices. Creating and executing an entrepreneurship initiative that transforms waste into valuable resources, specifically targeting marginalized individuals within society and laying the groundwork for a nationwide plastic waste recycling program, with the objective of establishing a plastic recycling facility in each of the Local Government Areas across the nation.
Establishing a waste management initiative centred around the local community while promoting the active participation of residents in contemporary waste disposal techniques such as waste categorization, separation, organic decomposition, and reuse. Enhancing public consciousness regarding sustainable buying habits by amplifying the desire among consumers for eco-friendly, secure, and more health-conscious goods and services. The central idea of President Tinubu’s renewed hope agenda, aimed at revitalizing the nation’s economy, was discussed extensively during the workshop. Sustainable development, being a crucial component of this agenda, was given a significant emphasis.
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Lastly, Ola Oresanya, the Commissioner for Environment, emphasized the vital importance of proper chemical and waste management in Ogun State. As industrialization and waste production continue to shape the state, it is crucial to tackle this issue effectively. Oresanya affirmed that the Ogun State Environmental Protection Agency (OGEPA) remains committed to its mission of proficiently handling chemical waste produced in and around the state. Their objective is to guarantee a secure and wholesome environment for everyone while also preventing any mishandling, inadequate storage, or improper disposal of chemicals and waste.