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Environmentalist wants strict inspection of used equipment at ports

An environmentalist, Prof. Oladele Osibanjo, has advocated compulsory inspection of imported used electrical and electronic equipment at the nation’s ports before they are sold to buyers.

Osibanjo, Director of Basel Convention Regional Coordinating Centre, Ibadan, said that the measure would help check the dumping of hazardous electrical and electronic waste in the country.He said in Owerri that developing countries should insist that such items be inspected in the exporting countries, before shipment. He said that the lifespan of some of the imported items had expired, thereby constituting serious health hazards, especially when burnt or dismantled.

Osibanjo said that it was disheartening that developing countries, including Nigeria, had no regulations that effectively prohibited the dumping of e-waste on the continent.“Our Customs Department does not have records of the quality of used electronics that come into this country and the situation should be of great concern to us,” he said. He claimed that government was not paying enough attention to environmental issues, and as a result, the environment had been

deteriorating.“Government should know that for development to last, the environment must be protected. It is sad that ours has become a country that is highly tolerant to waste,” Osibanjo said. He called for a change of attitude by all towards environmental issues, adding that commitment should be the focus.State governments should also be spending part of their ecological funds on sponsoring tertiary institutions to conduct research on ecological problems peculiar to the states,’’ he said.Osibanjo, however, called for Integrated Waste Management in Nigeria, stressing that what was being practised in the country was waste disposal and not waste management. He explained that waste management involved the life span of waste, waste generation, storage, transportation, treatment, disposal and aftercare.


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