The Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Agriculture Graduates Association of Nigeria for the recycling of waste to organic fertiliser.
It was learnt that the first waste recycling plant under the MoU would be constructed in Abuja and was scheduled to commence operations in the first quarter of next year.
The Director, Extension Department, FMARD, Ime Umoh, stated at a press briefing in Abuja on Monday that the ministry would provide technical support for the project, while AGAN would manage other aspects as spelt out in the terms of agreement.
He said, “The FMARD is providing technical support for this project and we have seen that this initiative has capacity to create over 6,000 jobs once it begins operation. We are going to monitor the project in terms of fertiliser production and application, quality of fertiliser, crop selection, etc.
“We have signed the MoU with AGAN because we believe it is a laudable project, particularly when you consider the gains, which it will bring to Nigerians, especially those living in the Federal Capital Territory. A facility that can convert waste to fertiliser is needed in Abuja at this moment.”
The National President, AGAN, Michael Egbuta, said the waste recycling project was a tripartite collaborative programme involving the ministry, the association and the FCT Traditional Council.
He stated that the project intended to address the poor state of municipal solid waste management, as huge volumes of waste were being generated daily in Abuja, while the current waste management practice in the city involved only a linear process of collection and transportation to dumpsites without any treatment.
Egbuta also noted that the project aimed to provide sustainable income sources to youths and women by engaging them in organic fertiliser production from the huge household organic waste and recycling of the non-biodegradable components.
“The organic fertiliser production will be used for farming and sold to other farmers, while the non-biodegradable waste such as plastics, aluminium cans, glass wares, papers, metals, etc. will be processed into recycled raw materials to be sold to local manufacturing industries,” he stated.
He said about 900 hectares of land had been provided by the Federal Capital Territory Administration for the recycling of waste in Abuja, adding that the project was scheduled to commence in the first quarter of next year.
According to him, about $4.59m will be needed to construct the recycling plant, as some prospective sponsors for the project have been contacted.
On how the project will be funded, Egbuta said, “Due to the paucity funds in the post-recession era in Nigeria, we have decided to use crowdfunding option in raising funds to implement this project. Our approach is to allow interested sponsors to be directly involved in the project.
“This means that a partner may choose to sponsor any of the items needed for training project beneficiaries, procurement of equipment or building of the facility in any one or more clusters in the six FCT Area Councils of choice.
Source: The Punch