Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu yesterday said the state government will partner the Netherlands on a circular economy hotspot in order to effectively tackle environmental, social and economic impacts of the activities of citizens living in the mega city.
Governor Sanwo-Olu spoke at the first Circular Economy Hotspot on the Continent of Africa, convened in Lagos themed “Towards a Circular and Resourceful Economy; The Future Lagos”, organised by the Lagos State Government in partnership with African Circular Economy Network (ACEN) and the Circular Economy Innovation Partnership (CEIP), supported by the Netherlands assured that his administration would fully implement ongoing discussion on circular economy involving turning waste to wealth.
Sanwo-Olu highlighted the benefits of the circular economy to Nigeria in general and the entire sub-Saharan Africa, saying Lagos as the economic hub of the country has fully embraced the concept of circular economy.
He said, “I strongly believe that the current geo-socio-political climate gives us even more reason to re-evaluate the resilience of our value chains, eliminate waste and pollution, circulate products and materials (at their highest value), and regenerate nature.”
The governor said the teeming population of Lagos would be profitably and effectively engaged on the initiative, saying it would transcend Lagos, the country at large, and the entire Sub Saharan Africa.
Sanwo-Olu said massive awareness would be deployed to sensitise citizens for robust implementation, adding that the conversation is coming at no better time than now when the nation is at the heart of conditions demanding the need to optimise resources for a sustainable economy.
“This event is coming at no better time, especially as the nation continues the process to free up its limited resources and optimally channel it towards addressing the different socio-economic needs of the citizens.
“Our administration’s commitment to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth through the encouragement of sustainable consumption and production patterns cannot be overemphasised,” he said.
Governor Sanwo-Olu further explained that the event speaks directly to his administration’s core principle of encouraging citizen’s engagements and partnerships in their bid to sustain a resilient socio-economic development for the state.
“In a city like Lagos, we believe that this initiative will create more jobs, as additional innovative production ideas will be needed and extra manpower required to keep materials in the loop for a long time.
“Therefore, the teeming population will be profitably and sustainably engaged, expanding the philosophy for an even greater Mega City.
“The Lagos Circular Economy Hotspot 2023 is of utmost importance, not only for Lagos and Nigeria, but for the entire sub-Saharan Africa.
“Developing countries like ours have contributed the least to global warming, but are suffering the worst impacts of climate change.
“Therefore, let me make it clear that my administration is committed to ensuring that resources are reused again and again in order to minimise waste. Our linear approach to delivering public goods and services shall be re-evaluated and the principles of Circular Economy shall be adopted fully,” Sanwo-Olu added.
In his goodwill message, the Director, National Agriculture Seed Council, Bassey Unaowo, said the circular economy conversation would address environmental issues, while creating job opportunities with broad economic advantages.
For the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Environment, Mr. Ibrahim Yesufu, the 2023 hot-spot will show the world what the government, the private sector and the youths are doing on the circular economy for a more resourceful economy.
Yesufu who was represented by zonal head of the Ministry in Lagos Mrs. Oluwatoyin Agbenla, said the hot-spot is coming at a time the economy is demanding and needs to innovate for a robust revenue base.