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Phase out of plastics gradually, NGO tells FG

An NGO, Clean Technology Hub (CTH), has urged the Federal Government not to abruptly ban the use of plastics in the country.

The organisation also called for the gradual phase-out because of attendant health implications.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NGO, Ifeoma Malo, made the appeal during a media round table on Friday in Abuja.

Malo said, ”In as much as CTH wants plastics to be out of people’s daily lives in the areas of food and drug packaging, an abrupt ban will slow down manufacturing.

” It is important that we phase out plastics because the impact of plastics on our day to day life and the health implications are very very high.

“However, in trying to remove plastics from our everyday existence or limit it, one of the things we have to be careful about is how we ban it.”

According to Malo, the government’s policy of just banning the use of plastics will have several economic implications.

He said, “One of them is for manufacturing; there’s a lot of manufacturing where plastic is used, especially for packaged goods.

“Production lines are already in place and sometimes they are put in place for six to nine months, when you ban something very abruptly, it disrupts the production line.

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“So, manufacturing slows down and it is very impossible for those manufacturers to be able to transit to something that is healthier for packaging.”

Malo said that off-grid energy, especially solar energy, was a viable alternative for Nigerians amid the recent electricity tariff hike.

Speaking on taking green technology to rural dwellers, she said: “We are already doing it. We talk to them about this technology and we help them to acquire it.

“And one of the ways we are taking green technologies to the rural communities is through the cooperative model.

“So, when we enter into any community one of the things we try to do is to help them organise.

“Most times, they are already organised because they have a chief or a women leader and through that structure, we are helping them to introduce this clean technology.

“If they form a cooperative; it is very easy for them to buy a solar dryer in the garri communities where we are working and women organise themselves and put money together.”

Malo also said that the NGO was organising cohorts to empower women entrepreneurs titled “She Sustains”, where $200,000 would be spread amongst the winners.

“We looked at the entrepreneurs in the green technology space and we realised that they are mostly men.

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“We believe that there are women entrepreneurs out there, so we decided to organise cohorts where females will be trained and they will pitch their business ideas.

“With the help of Climate Gender Equity Fund (CGEF) Accelerator Program. USAID and 2X Global. We have secured a $200,000 grant to support Women Entrepreneurs across Nigeria,” she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NGO has organised three cohorts, with one currently ongoing with 81 participants, where 19 winners will emerge and the second will come up in July, this year. (NAN)

Jessica Dogo
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