By Hauwa Ali
E-waste Producer Responsibility Organisation of Nigeria (EPRON) has expressed concerns that electronic waste still pose a threat to the environment and health of citizens, retraiting that only importation of tested and functional Used Electrical Electronic Equipments (UEEE) are allowed in the country.
The Executive Secretary, EPRON, IbukunFaluyi, said this in a statement on Thursday, in Lagos.
Faluyi said that Nigeria remained a destination for illegal trans-boundary shipment of end of life electrical and electronic equipment, despite the government’s efforts of enactment of the Basel Convention, regional and local regulations at curbing it.
She cited Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) as a serious concern which can be seen in almost every electronic repairer shop and contains toxic Lead.
“A common type of illegal e-waste shipment experienced in the Country is Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) screens containing devices such as televisions and monitors.
“CRT screens are heavily leaded glass screens containing about 35 per cent of lead oxide.
“The presence of lead; a toxic heavy metal, with adverse effect on human health when inhaled and when ingested makes CRT screens highly polluting and difficult to recycle,” she said.
A cathode-ray tube (CRT) is a large, sealed glass tube found in desktop/pc monitor which uses a liquid crystal display to produce images on LCDs. Flat screen LCDs dont use CRT to produce images.
Faluyi noted that technological replacement of CRT to flat screens in most devices, caused CRT to be obsolete and that is why it is always found littered about in repair shops.
“CRT glasses in Nigeria accumulates in repairers’ shops and eventually in dump sites,” she said.
She said that the government in 2011 issued a regulation and legislation to ensure Environmentally Sound Management (ESM) of e-waste to confront the challenge of increasing stockpiles of CRT tubes, but CRT devices still find their way into the country.
According to her, Person in Port (PIP) report reveals that 19 per cent of Used Electrical and Electronic Equipment (UEEE) imported into Nigeria in 2015 and 2016 are found to be non-functional and constituted e-waste.
She added that the PIP report revealed that 260 tonnes of CRT were imported into Nigeria annually.
Faluyi said that the National Environmental Standards and Enforcement Agency in 2019 adopted the polluter pays principle, imposing fines on importers of e-waste and making them responsible for the ESM in the border to recycling initiative.
Faluyi noted that defaulters of the initiative were handed over to EPRON and made to bear the cost of transporting the e-waste from the port to the recycler.
“Since 2019, six importers of CRT have been apprehended for importing about 2.362 tonnes of CRT tubes.
“It is a crime against the government of Nigeria and humanity to transfer hazardous materials that will serve no value other than to pollute the environment, especially the soil and underground water when these products are brought into the country,” she said.