The Federal Ministry of Environment is to develop a national policy and guidelines for the sound management of used batteries, from collection, transportation to storage.
The Director of Pollution Control and Environmental Health, Charles Ikeah, who stated this, said the development is coming as the country is facing serious challenge in handling huge quantities of used batteries coming from the motorized sector and renewable energy sector, many of which ended in municipal dumpsites.
Speaking at the inception workshop on the Strategic Framework for the Development of a National Policy and Guideline on the Environmentally Sound Management of used Batteries in Nigeria recently, Ikeah said the aim is for policy makers and regulators to buy into the programme and chart a way forward in tackling the challenge of unsound management of used batteries in Nigeria.
“The fact that environmentally, sound management of used batteries is attracting global and regional attention is a strong signal to us as a country to know that sound management of used batteries is no longer business as usual,” he said
Speaking, a representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr Aisha Mahmud, said their commitment to help the country achieve its 2030 sustainability development agenda led to the development of a framework that has been guiding the sector since 2012 to align with mobilising capital towards transitioning into a no-carbon economy.
She said in 2015, the Nigerian sustainable finance road map was created to mobilise private capital for investment towards green projects for the non-banking finance institutions.
The mechanism, she said, is to ensure that the financial sector takes environmental and social consideration into lending and investment decisions, “so that whatever we do, or investment we make, does not impact negatively on human health.”
“The bankers committee chaired by the CBN governor has also come up with a fund for funding projects on renewable energy, and there is already N500,000,000 in the account:
“CBN is committed to taking Nigeria from a linear economy to a circular economy where things are manufactured and the waste is used as raw material for another product. And as a result we are vigorously encouraging recycling in the industry,” she said.
Meanwhile, an environment expert with UNIDO, Yomi Banjo, said to ensure sound management, there must be a collection system for used batteries, “which means we need some infrastructures, collection ports, storage facilities and recycling facilities.”
He said these can be addressed through extended producer responsibility, which ensures manufacturers are responsible for the entire life cycle of their products; through cooperation and partnership.
“We also need to have an inventory in the country; inventory of batteries smelters, battery manufacturing companies and battery recycling,” he said.