The Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC),Prof Umar Garba Danbatta has said Nigeria has now become a home to 75% of electronic waste.
This was disclosed at the Public Inquiry on e-Waste Regulations and Disaster Recovery Guidelines organised by the NCC for telecom industry players.
According to him, NCC would renew its nation-wide raids on electronic markets and dealers who have turned the country into a dumping ground for obsolete and second hand electronic devices.
He warned that in view of the enormous dangers constituted by the volume of e-waste in the country, e-waste is now the fastest growing waste stream in the world with an estimated waste stream spike of about 48.5 million tonnes across the globe in 2018.
He also expressed concern over this huge volume, saying it has become imperative for stakeholders in the telecom industry, as well as relevant security agencies to come together to tackle the problem headlong.
Danbatta, said the country has to adopt proactive mechanism to curtail the dangers of electronic waste (e-waste) because a huge per centage of the electronic products imported into the country are irreparable and could be classified as toxic junk.
“In Africa, the challenge is even more dire. In a fast-paced telecom industry where speed and capacity define the networks, rapid advances in technology make it easier and convenient to change malfunctioning gadgets than to repair them.
“Also the illegal and predatory e-waste value chain which encourages the movement of e-waste from developed countries, adds another layer to the global challenge of handling e-waste.
“In Nigeria due to low GDP per capital /low income, and the desperate quest for information, it is estimated that 75 percent of electronics imported into the country are irreparable and toxic junk,” Dambatta said.
He described e-waste as electrical or electronic equipment that is waste, including all components, sub-assemblies and consumables. He commended the NCC for leading the way in addressing problems associated with e-waste management through industrial regulations.
Danbatta said apart from their solid and non-biodegradable nature, some of the toxic elements found in e-waste include lead, mercury, lithium and other ozone depleting substances.