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e-Waste: NESREA Regulation Provides for EPR says DG

The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) has said that its 2011 regulations on Electrical/Electronic was based on life cycle approach and has provision on Extended Producer Responsibility Programme (EPR).

Prof. Aliyu Jauro, director-general of NESREA, made these disclosures at the 2020 ITREALMS e-Waste Dialogue held at the Welcome Centre Hotels Lagos, with the theme “e-Waste in Nigeria: Challenges and Opportunities.”

Prof. Jauro, who was represented by Mrs Ezinwanyi Amarachi Udechukwu, head, Lagos Port Operations, in his keynote address, said that in order to realize the agency’s mandate, NESREA had developed various National Environmental Regulations on different sectors of the economy.

“One of such is the National Environmental (Electrical/Electronic sector) Regulations 2011,” he revealed.

Pointing out that this piece of regulation was developed with the thrust to prevent and minimise pollution from all operations and ancillary activities of the electrical/electronic sector to the Nigerian environment.

On the Extended Producer Responsibility Programme (EPR), Prof. Jauro said, is a key initiative of government that mandates manufacturers, importers and distributors to take-back their end-of-life products from the environment.

“The programme is designed to evolve a process whereby the manufacturer of a product imbibes the cleaner production principles of conserving raw materials and energy by taking responsibility for the entire life cycle of the product and ensuring that waste from such products are minimized and reused in one form or the other,” he explained.

Further, he said that the operational guidelines for EPR had been developed and published, delineating responsibilities for the key sector players, namely the producers, consumers, collectors, recyclers, the Producer Responsibility Organizations (PROs) and the government.

“The guidelines define the procedures for manufacturers, importers, assemblers and major distributors and it explains the modalities for the implementation of the EPR programme and the target waste streams such as used batteries, e-waste, plastics, tires, chemicals, paper, etc,” Prof. Jauro said.

He equally cited an instance of the recent intervention by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which aimed at stimulating the development of a sustainable circular economy for end-of-life electronic products in Nigeria, including the treatment and management of e-waste.

This, he said, will indirectly support the E-waste Producers Responsibility Organisation of Nigeria (EPRON) established through collaboration with NESREA; to provide the enabling environment for participation of the stakeholders.

In addition, DG noted, Nigeria may have imported an estimated 15,700 tonnes of e-waste, most of which came from the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD-Tvs) containing mercury, refrigerators and air conditioners containing.

Welcoming participants earlier, Mr. Remmy Nweke, editor-in-chief of ITREALMS Media,  noted that ITREALMS e-Waste Dialogue, was initially scheduled for October 14 but due to COVID-19 lockdown and #EndSARS protest nationwide, “it had to be rescheduled to Thursday, December 17, 2020 as part of the Nigeria Internet Waste Dialogue.”

Highlighting the fact there are concerns over the waste associated with the electrical and electronic equipment coming originating from the likes of mobile phones, computers, TV-sets, and fridges to name but a few, hence ITREALMS e-Waste Dialogue, aligns with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) organized “Internet Waste Dialogue” in commemoration of the annual International eWaste Day (IeWD).

He revealed that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) and Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) were among other stakeholders who supported the 2020 ITREALMS E-Waste Dialogue.

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