June 2, 2023

Tinubu advised to invest in bio-circular economy to drive nat’l wealth


By Ezra Ukanwa, Abuja

AS Nigerians continue to struggle with poor electricity supply, among other bottlenecks that have consequently hampered small-scale businesses, experts in the agricultural and water sectors have urged President Asiwaju Bolad Ahmed Tinubu, to utilize solid waste from agricultural products to boost the country’s economy.

These experts, under the aegis of International Water Management Institute, IWMI, explained that going ‘green’ would be without compromising the environment and the future human needs, reinforcing the importance of scaling up Resource Recovery and Resource reuse, RRR, approaches.

The IWMI Lead Consultant, Dr Boluwaji Onabolu, made the call at a stakeholders engagement workshop on ‘Assessment of the Investment Climate for Bio-Circular Economy in Nigeria’, held during the week, in Abuja.

According to her, Nigeria has the potential to turn around its economic growth with huge investments and opportunities in the environment, sanitation, water, and agriculture sectors.

She said the rising global demand for water, food, and energy, in the context of a growing deficit and competing uses, reinforced the need for more investments in circular economy approaches.

Furthermore, she explained that the institute was assessing the investment climate for businesses so as to promote a circular economy in which nothing is put into waste.

“We have learnt about studies that revealed that 183 million Nigerians do not have access to clean energy, so this is why IWMI has facilitated this workshop.

“We will have answers to some of the questions, why is it that these businesses like changing solid wastes into energy forms like biogas, and why is it that they are not able to sustain their growth?”, She said.

Also speaking, Regional Director for West and Central Africa, IWMI, Dr. Boluwaji Onabolu, who spoke virtually, said most of the resource reuse and recovery initiatives that aim to recover energy, water, and nutrients fall short of the estimated potential contribution to the economy and sustainable development.

She said consequently, such businesses are unable to expand and sustain themselves, as theoretically projected that they should be able to.

President, Association of Deans of Agriculture in Nigeria, Prof. Olumuyiwa Jayeoba, said many opportunities abound in the agriculture value chain.

Jayeoba said if Nigeria managed climate change and its impact well, it would have an advantage in the agricultural sector.

He added that climate-smart agriculture would sustainably increase productivity and income, and attainment of the National Food Security and Development Goals.

Also speaking, Dr Chimere Ohajinwa, noted that the impact of climate change in the environment was evident in extreme weather conditions, drought conditions, affecting the attainment of the sustainable development goals.

Ohajinwa said Nigeria faced significant waste management challenges, with increasing volumes of solid waste generated in urban areas.

“Establishing efficient recycling facilities and promoting community-based recycling initiatives can help recover valuable materials such as plastics, paper, glass, and metals.

“This creates employment opportunities in waste collection, sorting, and recycling industries, contributing to economic growth,” she said.