‘60,000 tonnes of hazardous wastes imported into Nigeria’
A new report released by Basel Convention Coordinating Centre for the African Region (BCCC-Africa), Nigeria has raised concern on the issues of growing consumption and importation of Used Electrical and Electronic Equipment (UEEE) into the country.
According to the report, 60,000 tonnes of UEEE are imported yearly through containers containerised vehicles. Presenting the report at a workshop on: “Person-In-Port Project” organized by (BCCC-Africa) Nigeria, the United Nations University (UNU), Germany, United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), and the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESERA) in Lagos, the lead presenter, Dr. Innocent Nnorom said the project which was in phases took place between February to June 2015 and January 2017.
The report indicated that China accounted for about 44 per cent of the UEEE importation, followed by the United Kingdom, Germany and other European countries. He said 41.6per cent of vehicles for UEEE products were in cars while others were stuffed in containers.
Nnorom said contrary to European Union Rule on certification, only one per cent of the imported UEEE contained functionality certificate while 99 per cent does not have the certificate.
Speaking further on their findings, the co-result presenter, Segun Odeyingbo explained that the group examined import documentation; shipping manifest, UEEE only in container, UEEE loaded inside containerized vehicles, as well as accessed 2,145 documented UEEE containers amongst others modalities.
The executive director BCCC-Africa, Prof. Percy Onianwa disclosed that the “Person-in the Port” Project was designed to place an expert in the two main ports of Lagos for approximately six months in 2015 to collect qualitative and quantitative information on imports of used EEE.
But in a reaction to the report, the Director General of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Dr. Lawrence Anukam said the development will further help regulatory agencies on making informed decision on management of e-waste products in Nigeria.
According to him, the agency is working with the environmental arm of Interpol to curtain illegal trans-boundary circulation of e-waste and of proper registration process for imported products while there are plans also for the setting up of e-circulated recycling plants which would deal with electronic waste stream and battery waste stream and ensure that they effectively treated and disposed off.
The participants called for synergy among Nigerian import and environmental regulatory agencies to curtail the importation of hazardous electronic waste into the country.
Other stakeholders at the presentation called for the need to develop copious data management process for the Customs, the Police, NESERA and the Nigerian Port Authority. They also asked for full automation process in documentation to reduce faking of import papers.