Environmentalist harps on measures to achieve circular economy in Nigeria

An environmentalist, Mr Gafar Odubote, has said that the attainment of a circular economy in the country is feasible if the right measures are put in place.

NAN reports that a circular economy is an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and ensuring the continual use of resources.

A circular economy ensures resources are maintained within the economy even when a product has attained the end of its life, so that they can be economically used again and again and thus create additional  value.

Odubote, the convener of Gaffystone Foundation, an environmental NGO; said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos

He said the attainment of a circular economy as opposed to a linear one would reduce and save the nation’s dwindling raw material base.

“For Nigeria to attain a circular economy, we need to understand every bit of our economy, our resources, consumption and distribution patterns.

“All stakeholders must unite to set concrete and realistic goals and work toward transiting to a circular economy. This may be a long journey but we have to start now.”

Odubote said that every Nigerian  has  a role to play for the country  to achieve a circular economy.

” Stakeholders must unite to create development opportunities at every point in our resources and materials value chain that will connect the various value chain players in Nigeria into a closed loop system.

“In the current linear economy we are currently practising, where a huge amount of what we consume is directly discarded after usage – it is usually straight from the producer to landfills,” the environmentalist told NAN.

He said that Nigerians needed a change of mentality and lifestyle to attain a circular economy in the country.

According to him,  one of the aims of a circular economy is to ensure that  the life spans of resources are  elongated and efficiently put to use.

Also, such resources must still be able to find their  ways into the production process before losing their  values, he said.

“I must say that  the consumer’s behaviour and lifestyle play an important role for Africa to transit to a circular economy.

“Most individuals feel it is poverty to use the same item repeatedly over a long period of time while some are impulse buyers. The people need to have a rethink and understand the number of wastages they  suffer along material value chain.

“Corporate organisations must develop new business models or refine the existing ones to a model that will ensure their product designs are  built to have  durable lifespans and can be extended either by reusing, re-manufacturing, refurbishing, recycling or  turned into energy recovery.

“The government must also set concrete and realistic goals for the country that will highlight a step-by-step transition plan, including the framework and enabling conditions to support circularity.

“We live in a society of finite resources and these resources are scarce and also expensive. Therefore, we must have a rethink of our current production and consumption patterns for the sake of the sustainability of our society,” Odubote advised. (NAN)