The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) on Thursday urged its members to review their operations to ensure minimal negative impacts on the environment.
Mr Joe Onyebu, the acting Chairman, MAN Apapa Branch, made the appeal at the 10th edition of the association’s Environmental and Safety Seminar in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that theme seminar was: “The Production of Substandard Food and Beverages: The Role of Environmental and Safety Controls’’.
Onyebu said the seminar was initiated as a means of providing value adding advisory services to elicit voluntary compliance of member companies to the globally accepted environmental standards and the Nigeria environmental laws.
“The fact that this seminar is convened on an annual basis underscores the importance the association attaches to environmental and safety issues,’’ he said.
The MAN chairman implored the government to tackle the deplorable roads within the Amuwo-Odofin Industrial Axis, Mile 2-Coconut Road, Mile 2-Kirikiri Road, Coconut to Liverpool and a host of others.
He also urged government to address issues of epileptic power supply and continued multiplicity of demands by regulatory agencies on member companies to ensure global competitiveness of the manufacturing sector.
Onyebu commended the Lagos State glGovernment for agreeing to the request of harmonising regulatory functions of the various government agencies.
He advised the government to increase patronage of Nigerian manufactured products to ensure survival of the sector.
“MAN has remained committed to constant dialogue with the government at all levels and look forward to improved electricity and other infrastructure to enhance competitiveness,’’ Onyebu said.
Also, the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) expressed concerns over the impact of food and beverages produced under wrong environmental conditions on the wellbeing of citizens.
The NESREA Director, Lagos Liaison Office, Mr Ayuba Jacob, said poorly produced foods and drinks in unhygienic environments had been found to be one of the leading causes of diseases and sometimes death, particularly in children.
Jacob, represented by Ms Tolofari Ngere, Head, Pollution Control and Sanitation Unit, said that the agency was engaged in series of nationwide compliance monitoring inspection visits to facilities in the food and beverages sector.
This, he said, was to ascertain their level of compliance with regulations governing the sector.
“A lot of products in the market today have been found to be either produced in an unkempt environment or standard protocols in their production was not adhered to.
“This is of great concern to the government because of the negative impact on human health and the environment.
“However, the government, through NESREA, promulgated various regulations to ensure environmentally sustainable sanitation practices in the industry are adhered to,’’ Jacob said.
He encouraged facilities in the food and beverages sector to channel their resources toward activities that would not compromise environmental integrity for the present and future generations.
The NESREA director said that more facilities were complying and expending efforts to ensure that the technologies and productions were greener and more environment friendly.
On its part, the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) called for a proper follow-up and adherence to guidelines on waste disposal practices from cradle to finish.
The LAWMA Director-General, Mr Oladimeji Oresanya, said that adherence to proper waste disposal practices would prevent environmental challenges experienced by wrong disposal system.
Oresanya, represented by Mrs Adetola Mosaku, Head, Commercial Services, said that LAWMA had been revived and strengthened to ensure qualitative solid waste management services premised on integrity.
He said that the new government in Lagos had expended efforts by consolidating on extensive enlightenment on recycling, as the most sustainable option in waste management.
“Waste is not waste in itself, but a means to an end which is a significant source of revenue generation to the manufacturing sectors whilst making job opportunities available.
“The government has embarked on empowerment initiatives and set up recycling plants to ensure ease of disposal of recyclable wastes,’’ the LAWMA director-general said.