The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) will strengthen collaboration to regulate electronic waste in the country.
The organisations expressed their desired collaboration in a statement issued by SON’s Head of Media, Mr Maji Aileku, on Tuesday in Abuja.
Aileku said that the organisations reached the agreement when NESREA’s Director General (D-G), Dr Aliu Jauro, visited the SON’s D-G, Malam Farouk Salim.
According to Aileku, Salim identifies e-waste as a threat to health and the environment when not handled properly.
“The SON D-G decried the general ignorance and the dangers it posed to the larger population while the recyclers prioritise their financial gains over public good.”
According to him, the society has become a dumping ground for toxic materials thus exposing the citizens to diseases such as cancer without knowing the source.
He, therefore, acceded to the idea of a joint committee to work out appropriate measures to integrate areas of common interests between the two organisations.
He said that such step would go a long way in curbing the consequences of the prevalence of e-waste in Nigeria.
The SON DG said that the proposed committee should consider strengthening existing standards, and work towards engendering far reaching regulations of e-waste and its effects on the environment.
Earlier, the NESREA D-G said that the existing collaboration between the two organisations, especially in the areas of standards development, adoption and review, had contributed immensely to the agency’s regulatory efforts in environmental standards.
Jauro, however, expressed concern about the negative effects of electronic waste (e-waste) in Nigeria following the influx of obsolete and near end of life electronics into the country.
He made reference to the effective collaboration of both agencies in an inter-ministerial consultative committee set up by the Federal Government in 2009, to strategise on curbing the influx of e-waste.
He decried the spate of recycling of e-waste materials across the country, which were being carried out in an unhealthy environmental manner and negatively impacting the environment and human.
He sought SON’s support to enhance the effective regulation of e-waste, to mitigate the negative effects in the society.
He suggested that lists of Electrical/Electronic Equipment (EEE) certified under the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) for locally manufactured products, and imports under the offshore conformity assessment programmes (SONCAP) be made available to NESREA.
“This will provide NESREA with the inventory of importers of EEEs.
“It will enable the Agency follow-up and ensure that the goods are appropriately recycled at the end of the life cycle and disposed of properly and in environmentally sound manner,” he said.
The organisations later agreed to harmonise their roles on a take back system in line with the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programme.
They mandated SON to provide necessary inputs to the sanitation and waste control and the EEE sector regulations which were currently under review by a technical committee.(NAN)