NESREA turns back 15 vessels carrying hazardous materials

Electronic waste

. Urges stakeholders’ collaboration for effective e-waste management  

The Federal Government said it has sent 15 vessels carrying hazardous materials into Nigeria back to their countries of origin as part of its war against e-waste.

The Director-General, National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA) Prof. Aliyu Jauro, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday that the vessels were laden with chemicals and electronics harmful to the environment.

He cautioned that the government will not allow any importer to turn Nigeria into a dumping ground for hazardous materials.

This is even as it urged relevant stakeholders to collaborate for effective sensitisation of the public to fight against e-wastes across the country.

Jauro said: “It is allowed to import electronics into Nigeria, but such electronics must be functional and safe. Nigeria is not a dumping ground where any waste can be allowed in.

“Most of the items arriving in Nigeria are not good and don’t function well; so only those that are functional and are safe are allowed to be discharged.

“People are able to bring hazardous items into Nigeria because the country’s borders are porous. As an agency, we test imported equipment to ensure that they are working perfectly and they are safe for the ecosystem.”

Jauro said particularly disturbing is the importation of used refrigerants and chemicals used in refrigeration that should not be allowed into any society because of their risk levels.

He said that some of the chemicals were found to react and deplete the ozone layer, the protective layer that shields the earth from radiation emitted by the sun.

“The use of chlorofluorocarbons in refrigerants and some other chemicals used as fire extinguishers are responsible for global warming.

“Also, some pesticides used in agriculture deplete the ozone layer and have a lot of negative effects on humans and on the ecosystem,” Jauro stressed.

People are able to bring hazardous items into Nigeria because the country’s borders are porous. As an agency, we test imported equipment to ensure that they are working perfectly and they are safe for the ecosystem.

Effective sensitisation

Regarding stakeholders’ collaboration, Jauro noted that most people are not aware of the dangers and harm associated with e-wastes, saying: “the best way to let them understand that such items are dangerous is to enlighten the public on its hazardous effect.

“The Agency also ensures that all manufacturers, importers and retailers register with the Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO).

“This is the most popular method adopted is the industry-driven model, whereby the PRO is appointed by the manufacturers, retailers and importers and they should be responsible for managing the e-wastes as Nigeria is a consumer nation.

“The PRO will use the collected finance being provided to support the collection of the e-waste,” he said.

He said NESREA does not have enough technology to monitor dealers of pesticides and hazardous chemicals in the country, which has affected the provision of efficient updates on the prosecution of the dealers.

He said the Agency recently rewarded about 16 outlets for adhering to its environmental compliance, adding that the essence of the award is to encourage the organisations for being effective in their service delivery.

He said one of the agency’s mandates is to ensure compliance with all environmental laws, regulations, policies and guidelines.

He said the aim of the award is not only to encourage the organisations that adhere to the regulations but also to ensure that others who refused to comply emulate the exemplary performance of the awardees.

“We created activities for these organisations and most of them engage in the production of some products which have an impact on the environment.

“We decided to develop regulations guiding how they are supposed to conduct the activities, so that it will not impact much on the environment.

“When there is no compliance, we do enforce. So in the course of doing that there is a provision for a reward system.

“Those that comply voluntarily with all our guidelines should be rewarded as a form of encouragement for others to key in,” he said.

The Director-General said the selection of the awardees was made with regards to environmental documentations such as Permits, Environmental Audit and the level of Corporate Social Responsibility activities carried out by the selected organisations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous Post

FG approves N1.3bn redundancy benefits for SAHCO’s ex-workers’

Next Post

Ghana declares national debt unsustainable

Related Posts