The Minister of State of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has revealed that about N8 billion is spent yearly on waste management in the Federal Capital City (FCC) and the satellite towns across the nation’s capital.
Aliyu disclosed this at the maiden edition of the Annual General Meeting/Induction of Waste Management Association of Nigeria (WAMASON), FCT Council.
The Minister specifically said the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) spends an average of N6 billion yearly, while the Satellite Towns Development Department (STDD) spends N2 billion annually, making a the total sum of N8 billion to pay over 64 cleaning contractors engaged in the management of waste within the FCT.
She also called on communities to cultivate sustainable waste management practices such as sorting at source, composting of organic waste for horticultural/agricultural purposes amongst others.
Speaking on the theme: “Waste Management in a Circular Economy: Financing, Stakeholders Engagement and Enforcement,” she advocated for the transition to a circular economy model for sustainable growth and development in Nigeria.
Represented by the Director, Environmental Services, Satellite Towns Development Department (STDD) Olusegun Olusa, the minister noted that in a circular economy, virtually nothing is discarded, stressing that products and materials are kept in circulation for as long as possible by designing them to be more durable, reusable, repairable and recyclable.
“It is clear that waste management is a cross-cutting environmental issue, impacting many aspects of our society and the economy. It has strong linkages to a range of other global challenges such as health, food and resource security, sustainable consumption and production, climate change and poverty reduction,” she affirmed.
According to her, the FCT Administration has been working diligently in ensuring that new opportunities for sustainable growth are provided through increased budgetary provisions in waste management related services.
“Presently, we have a total number of 64 waste management contractors in the FCC and Satellite Towns. This has provided employment opportunities and improved environmental sanitation through resource recovery/sorting and collection of recyclables for the informal waste pickers, as well as providing a platform for the generation of empirical data for proper planning and projection of waste amount in the FCT,” she said.
The Minister also called for synergy and understanding between the government and the private sector in ensuring effective and profitable waste management, just as she pledged the administration’s commitment in providing the necessary legal framework that guarantees return on investment for service delivery.