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We need to find lasting solution to plastic waste menace – LASG

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By Dada Jackson

The Lagos State Government has presented a draft plastic waste policy before stakeholders, stating that the time has come to find a lasting solution to the harmful effects of plastic waste across the state.

Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Ballo, dropped the hint while addressing participants at a one-day stakeholders’ workshop on the draft policy at LCCI Conference Centre, Alausa, Ikeja.

Bello said stakeholders’ input was very important in shaping an effective and acceptable policy that would reduce the burden of plastic waste before enacting the policy.

He said the thrust of the policy would include implementing an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) which would be aimed at drastically reducing the amount of plastic waste entering the waste stream, by sorting at source.

According to him, plastics in the environment have been a global problem and man’s relationship with plastics has been shaped by various cultural, social and economic factors.

He said in Nigeria, plastic waste and its unregulated production had been fueling a crisis in the country.

He quoted the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) as saying Nigerians were daily exposed to threats to life by plastic waste which had been found to contain a chemical substance named dioxin.

The commissioner explained that ICIR also noted the inability of the Nigerian government to come up with an implementable policy on the management of plastic waste, thereby making dump sites the final destination of these non-biodegradable product where they are set on fire.

He informed that the Federal Executive Council had also approved a plastic waste Management policy for the country, adding that environmental management and protection was a concurrent issue based on the provision of section 20 of the Nigerian Constitution.

He stressed that it meant both Federal and State government could legislate over environmental issue, with the state’s legislation further addressing her specific geographical and demographical conditions.

The commissioner said Lagos was believed to be generating the highest volume of plastic wastes in Nigeria and this assumption is based on the state’s contribution to the National GDP, the state population coupled with the standard of living and social status of the State.

“In quantifying the plastic composition of the total waste generated in the state, if we imagine an estimated Lagos population of over 20 million consuming one beverage bottle daily, this will give 365 containers per annum per person giving us a total of 7.3 billion of plastic packaged beverages consumed annually. The environmental footprint of the plastic waste generated from these could better be imagined,” he said.

He added that plastic pollute the landfill due to its non-biodegradable nature, clogging the drainages with attendant flooding and finding their way into the rivers thus impacting the health and wellbeing of both people, flora, fauna and the environment.

He emphasized that before now, government has implemented various scheme which include plastic buy back scheme, Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in partnership with Private sector and various activities of plastic recyclers and Producer Responsible Organizations to curb plastic waste burden but have not yielded the desired results

Earlier in her address, Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services,  Mrs. Belinda Odeneye said  waste has been identified as one of the most pressing environmental issues confronting the State Government and indeed, the world at large.

She said the increasing population of Lagos State which in turn increases the demand for plastics and plastic packaged products are factors responsible for the continuous increase in the generation of plastic waste adding that it’s accompanied with environmental pollution such as blocked drainages, flooding, and pollution of water ways amongst others.

 “In line with the above, the Ministry has undertaken the process of formulating a policy for plastic waste management in Lagos State through rigorous in-house review of the policy, key stakeholder consultation representing producers of plastics. This has now culminated into this gathering,” she said.

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Land use act should be amended not abrogated – Erhabor

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By Dada Jackson

 

The unending controversy surrounding the Land Use Act seems to be escalating by the day considering the furore it is generating in the polity.

Over the years,there has been a clamour for the document to be either amended or completely discarded.

But the argument continues on what to do with the document.

Some professionals and stakeholders in the construction industry have also been expressing divergent views on areas of the document that has to do with the powers of Governors in granting Certificate of Occupancy(CofO) to prospective land seekers.

In an exclusive interview with Daily Independent, a chartered land surveyor, Mr. Gowin Erhabor, said that the act which was a creation of former military Head of State, General Olusegun Obasanjo in 1978 was to transfer the ownership of land to the government.

According to him,the idea which was lofty, had since been abused by some state Governors to the detriment of some people.

He said he does not subscribe to the outright abrogation of the Act but submitted,that it should be amended especially the section that confers absolute power on state Governors to grant approvals for CofO.

The land surveyor pointed out,that over the years,some Governors have used that power to muscle perceived political opponent’s thereby frustrating their efforts at acquiring and.

He said ” For instance if a Governor does not like the face of someone he sees as his political for,he would do everything at his disposal to deny such an individual yge opportunity of getting a land. This power conferred on Governors in the document us too enormous to allow it continue.I detest thus section of the Act,hence it should be jettisoned without much ado”.

Erhabor however commended the National Assembly for initiating the move to amend the Act,urging them to expedite action on its passage.

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CBN restricts sugar importation to Dangote, Flour Mills, BUA

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has designated Dangote Sugar Refinery, Bua Sugar Refinery and Golden Sugar Company as the sole importers of sugar.

In a circular published on its website, the CBN said the three companies would have access to official foreign exchange, but with the bank’s express approval.

“Authorised dealers shall not open Forms M or access foreign exchange in the Nigerian foreign exchange market for any company or the three listed above for the importation of sugar without prior and express approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria,” the bank said.

The 16 July statement was signed by Dr. S.O. Nnaji, director trade and exchange department.

In April, the CBN had said it would no longer provide foreign currency for importers of sugar and wheat as the country tries to conserve dollar reserves and encourage local production.

The central bank justified its volte-face decision by saying the three firms, while still falling short of meeting demand, had made “reasonable progress” in producing refined sugar locally.

In 2015, the bank restricted access to foreign exchange for 41 banned items.

It has gradually added to the list since then.

The CBN Circular:

Sugar-Importation

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PHOTOS: Gridlock over tanker accident on Lagos-Ibadan expressway

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