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NESREA, SRADEv call for responsible battery recycling

The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) and Sustainable Research and Action for Sustainable Environment (SRADev) have called for responsible battery recycling in Nigeria.

Officials of NESREA, SRADEv, others at a workshop titled: “Partnership for Responsible Battery and Metal Recycling (PROBAMET)” held on Monday in Abeokuta, Ogun State

Key officials of the organisations made the call at a workshop titled: “Partnership for Responsible Battery and Metal Recycling (PROBAMET)” held on Monday, April 15, 2024, in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The workshop was hosted by the Ogun State Ministry of Environment and financed by the Initiative for Global Solidarity.

The workshop is a multi-stakeholder initiative promoting responsible battery recycling and responsible sourcing of secondary non-ferrous metals from Used Lead Acid Batteries (ULABs) in Nigeria.

Speaking at the event, the Director General of NESREA, Prof. Aliyu Jauro, said he was deeply honoured to welcome stakeholders to the workshop on the project.

“Together, we embark on a journey of collaboration, innovation, and collective action in addressing one of Nigeria’s most pressing environmental challenges: the promotion of responsible used battery and non-ferrous metal recycling,” Aliyu said.

Represented by Isa Abdu Abdussalam, Director, Inspection and Enforcement, NESREA, Aliyu said batteries, from automobiles to alternative energy systems, posed a significant concern due to their content of toxic and carcinogenic heavy metals like lead and mercury.

According to him, exposure to these substances can lead to severe health issues, including memory loss, high blood pressure, nerve disorders, kidney damage and even death.

He said Nigeria had seen a surge in the use of lead-acid batteries, given their affordability and availability.

“While these batteries offer tremendous benefits, their improper handling during the recycling process has resulted in environmental contamination and compromised human safety.

“To ensure sustainable development, the Federal Government established NESREA with the mandate to enforce compliance with environmental laws, guidelines, policies, standards and regulations in Nigeria.

“NESREA also plays a crucial role in upholding international environmental agreements in pursuit of these goals,” Aliyu said.

Also speaking, Dr Leslie Adogame, Executive Director, SRADev, stressed the importance of the workshop for the health and wellbeing of the local communities.

In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Environment, Ogun State, Mr. Ola Oresanya, thanked the stakeholders for coming down to the state to promote responsible battery recycling.

Oresanya said the state played host to the big players in the recycling of batteries and non-ferrous metals, adding that together with all the stakeholders a collective roadmap for responsible battery recycling would be achieved.

The Oba of Ogijo, Oba Kazeem Gbadamosi, in his goodwill message, highlighted the reckless disposal of battery waste in his kingdom, where most of the recyclers operated.

Gbadamosi called on the regulators to ensure that the recyclers adopted global best practice.

The workshop was attended by stakeholders from Lagos and Ogun states’ ministries of environment and civil society organisations.

By Fabian Ekeruche

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