Wikipedia describes electronic waste or e-waste as discarded electrical or electronic devices. It added that they are used electronics which are destined for reuse,resale, salvage, recycling or disposal are also considered e-waste. Surprisingly, these discarded electronic devices don’t end up in China, The United States of America, Indonesia, and England. They come straight to Africa and route it to Nigeria. So, why is Nigeria an attractive destination for e-waste?
We love cheap products
Cheap products and some Nigerians are like Siamese twins. They are inseparable. Funny enough, some sellers will encourage you to buy a fairly used product rather than a new one. This, according to them, is because the fairly used one is better when it comes to quality. This is perhaps why we have fairly used gadgets flooding the country. Also, they are very cheap. For some Nigerians, it’s cost over quality. In a recent report, “Nigeria dangerously consumes technologies which have 90% foreign input and a paltry 10% local input.”
Non-performing government agencies
The acting head of the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) Paul Angya said recently SON has no opportunity to inspect goods brought in through Nigerian seaports which account for over 90% of goods brought into the country as the agency is not allowed to operate in the ports thereby making smugglers of fake products have a field day. If 90% of goods entering this country are not checked, you can only imagine how many of them are e-waste. We also have Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency and The National Standards and Regulations Environmental Agency. They are arguably lame duck government bodies.
It is no gainsaying corruption has eaten into the fabric of the Nigerian society. The customs and even SON who are in charge of checking these products may simply turn a blind eye to these e-wastes as far as you can rub their palms or make them happy!
We don’t manufacture anything
A country that doesn’t manufacture anything opens the door for anything to come in including e-waste. This is why the recession is shattering the economy. We only rely on importers to import everything we use in this country.
Anything sells in Nigeria
If Nigerians can buy drugs in commercial buses, then what else can’t they buy? We have the population. So, since anything sells in Nigeria and the business environment is poorly regulated, then e-waste will continue to be dumped in the country despite the toxic dangers inherent in them. And trust Nigerians, they will gladly buy!