Stakeholders have deliberated on ways of developing circular economy initiative with a view to giving it a strong government policy backing in Nigeria.
They made the call at the Circular Economy Roundtable organised by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) on Tuesday in Abuja.
The event with the theme, “Harmonisation and Policy Development for the Nigeria Circular Economy,” aims to deliberate on policy by the government to utilise waste in the country for reusable and other purposes.
Mr Adetokunbo Kayode, the President, Nigeria Private Sector Alliance, said the roundtable would assist the government and stakeholders in setting a clear agenda to develop the policy and the circular economy.
Kayode, a former Minister of Justice, said the meeting was critical to national development, considering the volume of waste produced in Nigeria and the fresh opportunities to convert the waste to national wealth.
“We generate a lot of waste with a population of more than 210 million. Nigeria is one of the six or seven largest waste generators in the world.
“Some people call it polluters, but that is not so, you must generate what you consume, the more consumption, the more things you use, the more waste you generate.
“The whole essence of a circular economy is to utilise this waste as a source of raw material and as a fresh opportunity to reuse for a purpose; whatever we call waste.
“The purpose of this roundtable is to help us assist both the government and ourselves in setting a clear agenda for the development of the policy as well as the economy itself,” he said.
He said in the world today, there are four new economies namely digital, green, creative, and circular economy.
According to him, these are new fields of opportunities capable of producing a lot of value and wealth, hence the need for the Nigerian government to key into the initiative.
“Government needs to immediately endorse, recognise, and accept the circular economy. Circular economy is multi-sectoral but principally around the environmental economy,” he said.
The whole essence of a circular economy is to utilise this waste as a source of raw material and as a fresh opportunity to reuse for a purpose.
Boosting the economy
Also, Mr Collins Opigo, the representative of the Ministry of Environment, said achieving such initiative required a lot of things.
He said that the ministry recognises the initiative could boost the nation’s economy.
“Other developed countries have gone far with the economy. In Nigeria as well, a lot of things have to be done. Nevertheless, a lot of programmes are already ongoing in that regard.
“There are basic documents that have promoted the circular economy concept before. But specifically in terms of capturing the word circular economy and enthroning its enabling activities is very much underway.
“And we have been talking about a roadmap that the ministry is trying to develop and of course it needs more consultations,” he said.
Similarly, Mr Chukwudi Nwabuisiaku, a representative from the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), said the agency has a vision for a cleaner and healthier Nigeria.
The mission of the agency, according to him, is to inspire personal and collective responsibility towards building an environmentally conscious society.
“And that is why we are here, because wherever it has to do with public engagement, we always like to participate because the agency cannot do it alone.
“And we want to create that environmental consciousness that everyone of us should be aware of our environmental protection,” Nwabuisiaku said.
He said NESREA is in deep partnership with the circular economy project, adding that the agency started conversations around the initiative from 2012 to 2014.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the forum drew stakeholders from ministries, agencies, organised private sector to deliberate on the initiative, which according to them, is critical to national development. (NAN)