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FG, Lagos move to tackle e-waste menace

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Worried by the volume of Used Electrical and Electronic Equipment (UEEE), the Federal Government said it would work towards curbing environmental and health challenges posed by e-waste in the country.

In addition, it also frowned on situations where Nigeria has become a dumping ground for used electronics and other electrical appliances that constitute a serious challenge to the environment. 

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In a statement to commemorate International E-Waste Day in Abuja, the Minister of State for Environment, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor, noted that Nigeria is in receipt of large quantities of UEEE that are under the guise of ‘bridging the digital divide’ with a large chunk discovered to be e-waste.
 
According to her, the government has attracted international support under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded project.  “This project supports the collection and treatment of 300 tons of e-waste under the implementation framework of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), with our agency executing the project.”

MEANWHILE, environmentalists have stressed the need for international best practices in the management of e-waste.

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They spoke at a forum organised by Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) with the theme, “Opportunities in achieving circularity in the electrical and electronic equipment sector” held virtually in conjunction with United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, (UNIDO), National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) and International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The General Manager of LASEPA, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, explained that Nigeria needs to reduce pressure on the environment caused by practices like indiscriminate disposal and burning of e-waste, which she noted endangers the entire ecosystems. She stated that there was a need to create more awareness of the importance of the circular economy in e-wastes’ management to reap benefits.

She disclosed that the agency has strengthened its monitoring capacity of scrap yards within the state and will continue to regulate e-waste management for a safer environment.

The Permanent Secretary, State’s Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources, Mrs. Belinda Odeneye, represented by Hasan Sannuth observed that the increasing levels of e-waste generation, improper and unsafe treatment, and disposal through landfills poses significant challenges to the environment.

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