Solid Waste Management: A Critique of Nigeria’s Waste Management Policy

By Benefit Onu, Trevor Price, Suresh S. Surendran and Samuel Ebie.

Published by The Organization Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Solid waste management is the application of techniques that will ensure the orderly execution of the functions of collection, transfer, processing, treatment and disposal of solid waste. The ever increasing global concern on environmental health demands that wastes be properly managed and disposed of in the most friendly and acceptable way. This is to minimise, and were possible, eliminate its potential harm to humans, plants, animals and natural resources. Solid waste has become an important issue in Nigerian. Piles of wastes are often found by roads, rivers and many other open spaces in the cities, and this is causing significant health and environmental problems. The discovery of a major toxic waste dumped by a foreign company at Koko town near Warri in Delta State, Nigeria in 1987 led to the establishment of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) by Decree No. 58 of 1988. FEPA regulates the collection, treatment and disposal of solid and hazardous waste from municipal and industrial sources, and makes Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) mandatory for any major development project likely to have adverse impact on the environment. FEPA Act has been repealed and replaced with National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency. This study presents a critique of the current solid waste management practices, policies and laws in Nigeria. Primary and secondary data were gathered by sending semi-structured questionnaire to key informant persons and dump site visit. Content analysis was utilized especially for the secondary data since bulk of the data come from secondary material. It is evident that solid waste management in Nigeria is plagued with inefficient collection methods, insufficient coverage of the collection system, improper disposal, lack of institutional arrangement, insufficient financial resources, absence of bylaws and standards, inappropriate technology, etc. While the policies and laws are fragmented and are formulated not on nationally generated baseline data, participation of the people in the policy formulation and implementation is lacking, enforcement and monitoring of laws and policies is inadequate. It is therefore necessary that the legal (policies and laws), institutional, political, socio-cultural, financial, economic and technical aspects of solid waste management be given optimum attention with all seriousness.

Keywords: Waste Management, Environment, Environmental and Waste Management Policy

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp.373-400. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.715MB).

Benefit Onu

PhD Researcher, Faculty of Advanced Technology, University of Glamorgan, UK

Benefit Onu is a PhD Researcher at the Faculty of Advanced Technology, University of Glamorgan. His academic proficiencies raises from Youth Oil and Gas Training (YOGT) Programme sponsored by SPDC PLC, Nigeria (Ekowe, Bayelsa State), Diploma in Entrepreneurial Development, Diploma in Business Administration (University of Calabar), BSc. Geography/Environmental Management (Niger Delta University, Bayelsa State), MSc. Environmental Management (University of Glamorgan, UK) and currently studying at the PhD level in Environmental and Waste management (University of Glamorgan, UK). During his BSc study, he undertook an industrial training at the Bayelsa State Ministry of Environment, Department of Flood and Erosion. He has worked as a Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Knowledge Base Facilitator sponsored by the World Bank for National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Nigeria. He is associated with the Nigerian Environmental Society (NES), Waste Management Society of Nigeria (WAMSON), Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) UK and Chartered Institute of Waste Management (CIWM) UK. He is highly connected with the Federal and State Ministries of Environment in Nigeria.

Dr. Trevor Price

Faculty of Advanced Technology, University of Glamorgan, UK

Trevor is an experienced Environmental Consultant, having worked in a Bristolian Environmental Consultancy for four years after gaining his PhD. After completing an indentured apprenticeship and further training, Trevor spent time designing undercarriages for aircraft. With an increasing passion for things environmental he decided to spend time at Cranfield University studying for an MSc in Energy Conservation and the Environment, and then his PhD. The latter of which was sponsored by the then Rhymney Valley District Council and helped them decide how best to respond to environmental issues. After this Trevor worked as an Environmental Consultant in Bristol and then joined the University of Glamorgan in 2001 to deliver environmentally-related courses. He currently has two PhD students under supervision, working on a joint industrially-sponsored biofuels project worth over 160,000. In 2009 he was appointed to the Head of Technology Enhanced Learning in the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching.

Dr. Suresh S. Surendran

Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering, Faculty of Advanced Technology, University of Glamorgan, UK

(Leader for Water and Environmental Engineering & Management Modules), Department of Engineering, Faculty of Advanced Technology, An experienced civil and environmental engineer, registered programme and project manager and recognised scientist in flood risk and water management, with a 27 year proven track record. A professional risk analyst, scenario/system modeller, demand manager, strategy planner, international collaborator and a good co-ordinator. Trained team leader able to take strategic and tactical decisions, reform and direct. Known for taking a long term scientific view and capable to develop and implement comprehensive system design to solve future problems from blue skies to operation. Pragmatic, results oriented and good at reasoning, unpicking and resolving problems. Reputation for researching, developing and facilitating changes. Logically persuades, empowers others and looking for solutions to benefit all.

Dr. Samuel Ebie

PhD Researcher Assistant, Glamorgan Business School, University of Glamorgan, UK

Samuel Ebie is a PhD researcher, research assistant and HPL lecturer at the Glamorgan Business School, University of Glamorgan. Previously an SME entrepreneur, he has been involved with SMEs in Wales since 2004 and actively networking with the Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and other equality organisations in Wales. He was the business development manager for Ethnic Business Support Programme (EBSP)’s, Leadership, Equality & Diversity Training Centre from 2006–2009. His on-going PhD research is supported by Public Service Management Wales (PSMW) and EHRC. His research focuses on equality and diversity management in SMEs.

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