Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello, the Managing Director/CEO, of Mezzagers Environmental Services, Mr. Abidemi Sanusi, and other top government officials over the week end seek a new sustainability new path for an effective and efficient waste management policy in the country.
At a brainstorming session in a summit on: “Sustainable Management of Municipal Waste, Challenges, opportunities and policies” in Abuja, Bello, who was represented by the Acting Director, Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Mrs. Omolola Olanipekun, said government has started the process of evolving a mechanism that will lead to workable policy on waste management.
Present at the round the Abuja 1st Abuja round table summit are: The director in the Federal Ministry of Environment, Mr. Jide Oladipo and Mrs. Miranda Amachree, of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA).
Bello asserted that waste generation and management a priority area for the present administration, stressing: That is why this summit is a “stitch in time” to chart a way forward by examining and deliberating on available policies and current regulations on waste management in the country towards redefining the state of environment especially in the territory.
According to him, it is high time everybody graduated from collect and dump process and incorporate meaningful strategies into the nation’s waste management stream for the development of the country.
Bello said effective utilisation of resources from waste will empower the people by tapping into the valuable aspects of waste management. I have this believe, that waste is no waste at all, but waste through which other useful resources that can create wealth, he said.
Also speaking the convener of the summit, Sanusi, said it is an opportunity for experts to come together and offer solution on how to manage effectively waste, adding that waste management starts from where it was generated and progresses to where it was dumped.
“We want to discuss so many challenges associated with this process and how we can manage them.
“Only 40 per cent of waste any collected in Nigeria and this not good enough. For us to collect about 90 to 95 per cent of waste, we need a national waste policy.
“If we have any effective waste policy that form the guidelines, everybody will be aligned to the guidelines as how things are to be done. When there is a firework, you and I from our home will know that there is guidelines for how things should be done with our waste.”
According to the CEO, waste generation and management has become such an important issue in building sustainable and liveable cities around the world and therefore should not be overlooked by all.
He said: “Efficient waste management impacts on public health, economy and social wellbeing of the people. Municipal Waste, which are waste collected and treated by or for municipalities, covers waste from households, similar waste from commerce and trade, office buildings, institutions and small businesses.
“Based on World Bank estimate of waste generation by countries and regions of the world, Nigeria total waste generation presently, is estimated to be 25million tons/yearout of which urban waste generation per day is 40,959tons/day.
“The urban waste generation is estimated to grow by about 147 per cent (101,307 tons/day) in the year 2025. The per-capital waste generation is also expected to grow from 0.56 kg/capital/day to 0.8 kg/capital/day. Presently, only about 60 per cent of this waste is being collected while Nigeria still has 100 per cent of unsound disposal with recycling rate hovering around 0 per cent (Waste Atlas).“
Sanusi warned that without substantial infrastructure, investment, process management and policies, the effects of continuous growth of Municipal Waste could be overwhelming and pose great danger to the population of this country and this is why the focus of this year’s Abuja Waste Summit is centered on Municipal Waste Management.
The platform, he added aims to discuss the challenges, opportunities and policies with projection of finding solutions to challenging issues and take full advantage of the opportunities.