Lagos authorities have expressed commitment to building the foundation of a circular economy in the state and advocating environmental sustainability.
Environmental and water resources commissioner Tunji Bello said this in Lagos while delivering a keynote address at the official unveiling of the “Eko Clean Air” project in the Itedo community. He was represented by Tajudeen Gaji, permanent secretary in charge of environmental services who said the government was excited to bring the advocacy on circularity and environmental sustainability to the Itedo community in Lekki.
He said the advocacy was a clear and essential sentiment expressed across multiple UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) goals, under the state’s localised initiative, with the theme “Eko for Clean Air”.
“I commend the commitment and foresight of progressive partners for their strategic support and fostering of a sense of mutual partnership with the government on the sustainability of the environment and the need for a truly pragmatic circular economy approach
“This is a true demonstration and testament of the company, being an eco-conscious and eco-warrior body,” Mr Bello said.
While citing the UN Environment Programme, Mr Bello said environmental sustainability through a circular economy involved making life choices that ensured an equal, if not better, way of life for future generations.
“And the reduction of waste to a minimum by reusing, repairing, refurbishing, and recycling existing materials and products,” he added.
While citing the World Bank and World Health Organisation, Mr Bello noted that air pollution was a major environmental and health threat with an increasing economic burden.
The worst impacts of air pollution are felt in informal and small-scale industries and the most vulnerable populations, he added.
“Therefore, the concept and implementation of a circular economy are necessitated not only due to the ongoing environmental insults caused by improper handling and disposal of various trade effluents, including plastics, waste oil and oily waste, waste electronics and electrical waste within the state.
“Also to showcase the clear tenets of waste to value as a socio-economic pollution control mechanism which can stimulate new businesses with huge economic potential from an otherwise unwanted item or trade effluent,” Mr Bello said.
The commissioner said the state, in its bid to combat environmental pollution and encourage sustainable development, has charged LASEPA with the responsibility of setting and enforcing environmental standards.
He added that LASEPA was also vested with the responsibility of adopting a proactive approach to environmental protection, promoting a circular economy, and ensuring that all state’s environmental resources are consumed sustainably.
He said ensuring a seamless interface with communities and adopting a genuinely granular approach by adapting global best standards on circularity and sustainability to the unique Lagos ecosystem is a key expected outcome.
“We believe this would not only leverage the over N400 million that statistically moves in value in plastics alone in Lagos state daily, but also encourage standardised practices and handling of other trade effluents of economic potential with the direct economic benefits across the entire stakeholder value web.”