President, Waste Management Society of Nigeria (WAMASON), Prof. Oladele Osibanjo, has advocated for the strict enforcement of waste management regulations in order to create wealth.
Osibanjo stated this during the 3rd international waste summit on Friday, May 21, 2021 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The two-day summit was themed: ‘Waste Management in an Emerging Economy: Challenges and Opportunities”.
It was geared towards harnessing inherent economic and preservative gains in the subsector.
Osibanjo noted that the United Nations (UN) sustainable development goal acknowledged that waste management must be carried out in an environmentally sound manner bearing in mind that development is not destruction.
“Sadly, developmental policies and programmes running into billions of Naira are most times being executed without proper consideration for attendant ecological cost on such projects.
“How much of water, air and environmental pollution resulting from a project must be adequately considered before project implementation.
“This will properly assist mitigate long and short term environmental impacts.
“Stakeholders/contractors in the value chain of any given developmental project must begin to pay distinct percentage for waste so that no company or government singlehandedly bears the brunt,” he said.
In an online visual contribution, Mr Carlos Filho, President, International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), said that there was need for a conscious effort towards salvaging the ecosystem.
He noted that currently, humans generate not less than 2 billon tons of solid waste annually.
He added that the figure was expected to double by 2050 hence the need for a global intervention in waste management and its economic value chain.
“The scale of human intervention on the earth ecosystem (environment) has grown to an unprecedented high level.
“The post-COVID-19 economy shall focus on taping into economic gains in waste management in line with preservation of the human and natural ecosystem,” Filho said.
Similarly, Mr Ossai Reuben, Chief Executive Officer, INITIATES PLC, a waste management company, stressed the need for robust funding for the waste management sector.
He urged government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure adequate funding for investors in the economically viable sector.
The waste management expert warned that any growing economy that does not have an equivalent waste management initiative was heading for destruction.
Highlight of the event were awards to some eminent members of the union as well as admission of 20 new Fellows into the Collage of Fellow of ‘Waste Management Society of Nigeria’.
Mr Benson Abu, Mr Rabiu Suleman, and Mr Anthony Oyedeji, among others, were decorated as fellows.
By Ikuru Lizzy