Minister of State for the Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jibril, has said that waste management authorities across states in Nigeria should seek ways to generate wealth from waste collection activities, instead of laying blame for lapses in the exercise on lack funding.
According to the Nigerian constitution, responsibility for waste disposal lies with the local government. The local government are the third tier of government in Nigeria, whose bane in all its functions has been lack of funding.
Nigerian Tribune had sought the minister’s view on whether amending the law in order to transfer the responsibility of waste disposal to a better-funded tier of government such as the Federal Government would be a good idea to take care of inefficient waste disposal exercises in the country blamed on insufficient funding.
However, in an exclusive interview with Nigerian Tribune at the just concluded National Council on Environment held in Abeokuta, Ogun State recently, the minister noted that there was nothing wrong with the extant law.
In his response, Jibril said, “If people don’t understand that they can make money with it (waste disposal) then it is unfortunate. What we need to do is to advocate and keep talking to people until they understand that. The local governments have to step up, the state governments have to step up, and we (the Federal Government) will support that.
“There is nothing wrong with the policy, it is an enforcement issue. If we get it right in enforcing, things will move on.”
It will be recalled that at the conclusion of the NCE, the council had resolved among issues that state governments must initiate waste-to-wealth programmes in their domains.
According to the communique issued at the end of the event, it was noted that “states should be encouraged to put in place Waste-to- Wealth programmes/initiatives that can attract private sector participations and foreign direct investment in order to unlock investment opportunities in the wastemanagement sub-sector.”