DEBATING THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN NIGERIA: SEMINAR REPORT
Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) joined many other organizations of the globe and organised an online seminar to celebrate the 2020 International day of environment which is celebrated on June 5 annually. The 2020 environment day being recognised by the United Nation convention with the theme ‘Time for Nature,’ with a focus on its role in providing the essential infrastructure that supports life on Earth and human development to raise public awareness on needful to be doing in this regard in order to safeguard our environment for better living. Three resource persons, Prof. Adamu Idris Tanko, , Deputy Vice Chancellor, Bayero University and Professor of Geography, Mal Umar Saleh Anka who is Fellow of the Nigeria Environmental Society (FNES) and Mrs. Ummi Kulthum Muhammad, a lecturer at Department of Environmental Management (BUK) delivered presentations on the topic “The Circular Economy and Nigeria” in the virtual seminar held 11am-1pm using Zoom platform.
Registration and join links were put in the invitation banner that was shared online using different social media platforms like Facebook, Tweeter, Whatsup by the staff and friends of CITAD and four hundred and fifty (450) people registered which are from members of CSOs/CBOs, media, staff of CITAD and other members of public (male and female) from different communities of different states for the event and over 100 including Nigerians living abroad joined the virtual seminar which was held on Friday, June 5.
Mallam Isyaku Garba of CITAD made opening remarks where he welcomed the presenters and participants and wished for successful deliberation. He observed that CITAD has yearly celebrated the Environmental Day and that other activities that the organization has engaged including organizing school competition on extractive industry, promoting consciousness on cities without plastics, and currently undertaking a research on eWaste management and disposal in Northern Nigeria.
Isa Garba, Programmes Coordinator of CITAD introduced the presenters and emphasised on the relevance of celebrating the 2020 international environment day and said that CITAD was celebrating the day as it has always done every year as part of its commitment to promoting sustainable environment in the country. He was the choice of the topic was informed by our realization that recycling is a jet strategy to sustainable developmentn globally and in Nigeria. he added that the speakers who are experts in the area were carefully selected to bring their well of experience and passion to bear in promoting a better understanding of the concept of the circular economy and how it could be mainstreamed in Nigeria.
After an introduction and opening remarks by CITAD, the facilitators were given ten minutes each for their first-round presentation and then another ten minutes for the second round in which later the participants were allowed to make comments and ask questions for twenty minutes after which the presenters responded thereafter.
The presenters discussed on the importance of cellabrating the day and dwelled so much on the concept of Circular Economy and its relevance to Nigerian situations with citing many common examples for participants’ understanding and called on the audience to adhere to the messages and be sharing to the wider public in their domain for the purpose of achieving the circular in economy in Nigeria. They discussed extensively on the definition of Circular Economy, its composition and importance in every aspect of our lives, public and private contributions, its economic effects and recommendations as well as strategies for its effective application in the Nigerian context. Prof Tanko said unless both the public and private sectors in Nigeria commit resources to embrace the Circular Economy, environmental challenges would be increasing on daily basis, causing discomfort not only to humans but also to aquatic and terrestrial animals. In his presentation, Anka commended CITAD for organizing the event, despite the lockdown and said it was the right time for people to embrace small businesses that go along with the concept of circular economy. Also in her presentation, Mrs Kulthum said that there was need for other civil society organizations to be sensitizing the general public on how to leverage the opportunities like refuse collection and recycling of polyethene and other wastes that are everywhere and start thinking of reusable items to maintain circular economy and keeping their environment tidy and safer for living.
Comments and questions were made by some participants and responded by the presenters as well as staff of CITAD. Some of the questions asked included:
- In the presence of this Corona pandemic what will the feature economy of Nigeria look like
- What are the implications of a circular economy to our upcoming generations?
- What is the effect of circular economy on the Nigerian masses?
- COVID-19 Pandemic has created alots of apprehension and panics around
the globe. What is CITAD doing to promote online counselling services to
the public to ameliorate the psychological, social and economic impact of
the pandemic on Nigerians?
- The Effect of lockdown on many cities in Nigeria and around the world
has shrunken the revenue generation into government coffers for
What are the strategies or ideas CITAD can offer to the
federal government on revenue generation using technology and other means
to boost revenue and stabilise the economy?
- There were insinuations in some quotas over the 5G technology as the
cause of Corona virus. Is it true that 5G network transmits COVID-19, if
YES/NO, what CITAD is doing to safeguard the impact of technology on our
Engineer Kamal of CITAD who moderated the seminar made the closing remarks/vote of thanks in which he commended the presenters and urged participants to continue to be environmentally conscious in everything they do in order to safeguard the environment and improve economy of the nation. He also urged them to disseminate the knowledge they had acquired to other people in their communities so that we could increase awareness on the imperative of the circular economy and make demands on government to deploy necessary and appropriate policies that would enable the mainstreaming of the circular economy in the country.