The Federal Government of Nigeria and the Embassy of Finland in Nigeria are considering exploring the opportunities in the circular economy estimated to worth $5.4 trillion by the World Economic Forum.
What is Circular economy? It means an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. It employs reuse, sharing, repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing and recycling to create a close-loop system, minimising the use of resource inputs and the creation of waste, pollution and carbon emissions.
Benefits: The circular economy aims to keep products, equipment and infrastructure in use for longer, thus improving the productivity of these resources. All ‘waste’ should become ‘food’ for another process: either a by-product or recovered resource for another industrial process, or as regenerative resources for nature, e.g. compost. This regenerative approach is in contrast to the traditional linear economy which has a ‘take, make, dispose’ model of production.
At the first Finland-Nigeria Business Lunch on Circular Economy in Lagos, the Senior Lead, Business Development, Sitra (Finnish Innovation Fund), Jyri Arponen, explained that Sitra and Nordic innovation had initiated a programme of circular business models in the Nordic manufacturing industry aimed at GHdeveloping collaborative pilots across industry ecosystems to encourage a successful transition to a circular economy, critical for innovation and continued economic growth.
He said, “The shift to a circular economy requires strategic goals spanning the whole of society, as presented in the road map. Road map lists those measures that need to be taken to implement the change in the national economy to which stakeholders have already committed themselves.”
Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Climate Innovation Centre, Bankole Oloruntoba, described the centre as a special purpose centre designed by the World Bank with the support of the Nigerian government to lead the growth of a viable green economy in Nigeria.
He noted that many developed countries like Finland had built tremendous capacity and business experience in managing high-yield circular economy.
He said, “Data development, which formed the critical resource for making sustainable decisions for all stakeholders in the circular economy, would be required by the government, academia, innovators and enterprises.
“We are still building the framework of this alternative economy so the opportunities abound from learning from experienced economies to providing soft-landing services for circular businesses from Finland. The immense circular business opportunities cannot be adequately estimated as data is still yet to be developed.”
The Group Chief Sustainability Officer, Dangote Industries Limited, Dr Ndidi Nnoli, shared the sustainability journey of Dangote in Africa with participants, saying most of the wastes generated by the company were being used in agro-sacks production.
She stated that the circular economy was a critical part of sustainability, stressing that more awareness was required on the impact and business opportunities in sustainable development.