Worried by the negative impact of disposing expired naira notes through burning on the environment, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, disclosed yesterday that it has set aside N500 million for the recycling of old banknotes and other hazardous electronic materials that constitute environmental hazards.
Special Adviser to the CBN Governor on Sustainable Banking, Dr. Mrs Aisha Usman Mahmood, who spoke at the inception of the strategic action plan for safe use, disposal and recycling of expired battery, said the CBN is vigorously encouraging recycling of its waste products.
The apex bank explained that the effort was geared towards making sure that activities of the financial sector do not negatively impact on the environment.
The workshop was organized by the Ministry of Environment in collaboration with the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP), European Union, GIZ, UNIDO, Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS) and other stakeholders.
She added that CBN is taking the lead on setting an exemplary example for financial institutions to follow to align with the attainment of low carbon economy by 2030.
According to her, the development of a sustainable framework towards low carbon economy by the apex bank started in 2012, adding that CBN is mobilising PENCOM, NSE and other financial institutions to make Nigeria green economy.
Dr Mahmood also disclosed the Bank is discussing with cement manufacturing companies, including Dangote Cement Company for the purpose of recycling old paper notes for their industrial needs.
In her remark, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs Ibukun Odusote, who was represented by the Director in the ministry, Mrs. Abimbola Adenuga, said the workshop is aimed at raising awareness of regulators and policymakers on the environment and health impacts of used batteries and to chart a way on its proper disposal through effective policy.
She said batteries contain heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, silver, nickel and lithium are known to cause fetal damage, anaemia, kidney and brain damage and even death, especially in children.
The Permanent Secretary added that Nigeria is committed to its obligations under the Basel convention on managing hazardous wastes, explaining that in cases where Nigeria does not have the local capacity, it will be exported to other countries that have the technical capacity to manage in an environmentally sound manner.
Odusote said: “Used batteries are not exported as whole entities rather they undergo some preliminary recycling in which they are broken and the lead plates are extracted and exported or melted into ingots and also exported.
You want to share a story with us? You want to advertise? You need publicity for a product, service, or event? Contact us on WhatsApp – +234 803 3018 881