Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, has called on journalists to partner with government to publicize information on the Extended Producers Responsibility programme.
At a virtual conference, which had the theme “Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programme under the Circular Economy: Tackling E-Waste”, the minister noted that journalism had been a great tool in creating awareness and information dissemination among important stakeholders and regulated communities, this that enabling avenues of collaborations with other agencies.
She said: “On a daily basis, we can see the news that flood the media on the state of the nation, the economy, the environment and also mismanaged waste, which affects the environment as well”.
She further stated that it was important to publicize the latest trends, including projects aimed at addressing emerging challenges and also ensuring joint efforts with the media in promoting and protecting the environment for future generations.
She added that Nigeria had made a lot of strides in the environmentally sound management of e-waste through the implementation of the EPR programme, but there’s need to do more.
To achieve this, she urged journalists to publicize information on the EPR programme to bring about a change in the ideology of the general public towards a sustainable development and to foster effective environmental governance.
At the online summit, Mr Feng Weng, the United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) representative, gave a lecture on “Circular Economy Approaches for the Electronic Sector in Nigeria”.
He stated that his organization was working with the electronic sector in Nigeria to redesign a system to keep the value of the products and materials in the value-chain with best function in value while they do not pollute the lands and oceans, rivers and air of electronics.
Mr. Weng enunciated that UNEP was bringing international experience in the management of e-waste, give inspiration in the advancements of policy work and that these international institutions can use Nigeria as a role model for other African countries.
He stated that work started in June 2019 and will last for another two years.
Mr Weng explained that “we will collect 300 tonnes of different electronics from different channels and recycle them”, while his institution supports NESREA to gazette technical guidance for EPR, which gives a clear framework target of how producers should be taking care of e-waste in a very efficient way.
The UNEP representative hinted that Nigeria is one of the early countries in Africa that introduced legislation on e-waste, including domestic EPR legislation, management, transpondary movement, control of import and the introduction of license for collectors and recyclers.
Mrs. Ibukun Faluyi, an official of EPRON, enumerated its role in the implementation and value -chain management of the EPR project and the significant role of the media in raising awareness of the EPR project and the work of her organization,at the meeting.
In his keynote address, Professor Aliyu Jauro, Director-General of NESREA spoke on government’s role in the circular economy and the EPR framework.
He highlighted the provisions of the EPR project, its benefits in the creation of jobs, among other things; noting that if the EPR programme is properly implemented, it will solve the e-waste management problem in the country.
The summit, which was moderated by Dr. Mike Omeri, ended with an interactive session of questions and answers.