Saturday, 30th September 2023

UNILAG seeks students’ collaboration on waste management

By Shakirah Adunola
28 March 2023   |   3:31 am
The University of Lagos (UNILAG) Green Hub Works Department and the Student Affairs Office have stressed the need for students to turn waste into wealth.

University of Lagos VC, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola

The University of Lagos (UNILAG) Green Hub Works Department and the Student Affairs Office have stressed the need for students to turn waste into wealth.

Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Management Services), Prof. Lucian Chukwu, who spoke during the official opening of a three-day event featuring an exhibition of recycled products, a campus-wide cleanup exercise, a street show and internship opportunities for discovery and networking with value chain companies, commended the organisers of the programme for coming up with the idea and demonstrating the future-ready vision of the institution.

Ogunsola, who enlightened the audience about the role of plastic wastes in the socio-economic development of human well-being, and the impact on the environment, said: “Though it has become a menace, plastic is what our society will still require at every point of social and economic development.

“Taking our campus for example, given its location beside the Lagos Lagoon, socio-economic activities herein have major impacts on the coastal environment.

“Nigeria ranks high among countries with the highest estimated mass of mismanaged plastic waste. That reality is a threat to human and environmental well-being. The way out for our country is to adopt the circular economy approach.”

She, therefore, urged members of the university community to participate fully in the challenge, being mindful of the fact that they are contributing their quota to make the country become a green economy.

Also, President of the Lagos Recyclers Association, Dr. Femi Idowu-Adegoke, while delivering a lecture on “Uncovering the Opportunities in Recycling Using Innovation and Entrepreneurial Skills,” mentioned a series of opportunities in the recycling space in Nigeria, and encouraged students to deploy their entrepreneurial skills in exploiting them.

He said: “The entrepreneurial approach to waste sees it as a recyclable resource, and not as an environmental menace. There are immense opportunities in the recycling space that you can take advantage of, even while still a student,” he said.

The Project Lead of the Sustainability Challenge, Dr. Abdulganiyu Adelopo, reiterated the focus of the project to mobilise community members to track, collect and recycle 1.5 million plastic bottles and cans on campus, to create empowerment opportunities for students through their participation in several points of the value-chain of waste-to-wealth recycling; and to strengthen the University of Lagos global ranking in environmental sustainability.