Nigeria Has Many Business Prospects to Offer

The Federal Republic of Nigeria is considered to be an emerging market by the World Bank and has been identified as a regional power on the African continent.

The country in the western part of Africa consists of 36 States and a Federal Capital Territory, where the capital Abuja is located. According to the World Bank, the population of Nigeria was 2014 estimated at 177.5 million people with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at market prices of 568.5 billion US-Dollar. Nigeria is the world‘s 20th largest economy.

Due to the increasing population, urbanization and industrialization, the waste management situation in Nigeria is a challenge, a report of the Waste Management Society of Nigeria (Wamason) stated some years ago. According to the author Edith Tobore Iriruaga, there is a strong demand for “good waste management service”, public health and environmental protection. As reported, Lagos State is a model for other States in Nigeria, because its government is committed to a sustainable waste management. There are varied data on waste generation and composition due to poor information management, but a study carried out by TC Ogwueleke in 2009 showed that the rate of waste generation was between 0.66 and 0.44 kilogram per capita and day. According to the Nigerian Environmental Society (NES), the annual waste generation in Nigeria amounts to 60 million tons with less than ten percent waste management capacity.

In 2012, biodegradable waste accounted for more than 50 percent of waste generated with other components estimated at different composition in different states. A study carried out by the Bayero University Kano in March 2012 estimated the composition of the waste material: polyethylene/cellophane (19 percent), paper (12.7 percent), metal (10 percent), glass (8.7 percent), plastics (11.3 percent), fines – ash, dust and sand – (12 percent) and miscellaneous (9 percent), reported Edith Tobore Iriruaga. In 2009, the Basel Convention Coordinating Center of Africa revealed that 70 percent of all imports were used electronic electrical equipment of which about 30 percent could be described as e-waste.

Waste collection service is offered mainly by the public sector though some state governments operate some level of formal public-private partnership (PPP). However, it is not uncommon to see informal waste collectors using push carts for collection services from door to door in some parts of Nigerian cities, described Edith Tobore Iriruaga the situation. As reported, collection services are offered mostly in urban areas with not higher than 50 percent efficiency in most cities; exceptions are Lagos and Calabar (in Cross River State).

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Recycling in Nigeria

The informal recycling sector is very active in the Nigerian waste management system, Edith Tobore Iriruaga stated. Itinerant waste buyers or scavengers target valuable materials such as plastics, paper, glass, metal and used electrical equipment. Although their activities have great impact on the reduction of the net volume of waste disposed of, there is no formal integration of this stakeholder into the system except in Lagos State. Lagos Waste Management Authority (Lawma) introduced recycling banks in some organized areas where households are encouraged to deposit their recyclables like plastics, cans and bottles, while the organic components are collected from door to door.

According to the author, the formal sector is becoming interested in recycling in some Nigerian states due to pilot projects which encourage source separation of waste.

Lagos State prefers recycling and resource recovery

Because of overfilled disposal sites, Lagos State are adopting resource recovery as a suitable alternative and ideal option for sustainable development “which encourages an environmentally friendly living in the society”, Lagos Waste Management Authority says. Lawma is the waste management organization and is responsible for the collection and disposal of municipal and industrial waste, as well as the provision of commercial waste services to the state and local governments. According to its own statement, it has created job opportunities with over 25,000 staff.

The following investments opportunities are available to interested investors.

  • LAWMA Recycling Bank: The purpose of the recycling bank is to bring a sense of collective responsibility to the citizens of Lagos State, making it a productive and participatory venture between the government and the people. This will be situated in housing estates, event centers, shopping malls, bus stops and major roads within Lagos metropolis to serve as a storehouse for recyclable materials.
  • Compost: Compost is produced at Odogunyan compost plant, Ikorodu. Investment opportunities are available for interested investors who want to partner with Lawma to achieve high nutrition compost.
  • Paper: The bulk of paper collected from the landfills or recycling banks are sorted, graded at the paper baling section, Olushosun, Ojota and processed at Jebba Paper Mill. Lawma provides three million Naira (about 14,880 US-Dollar) worth of waste papers for conversion, while paper and news print are potential markets.
  •  Briquettes: Charcoal and biomass briquettes can be made and sold by entrepreneurial community groups, business people as well as potential for exporting in the long run.
  • Plastic: Lawma currently converts tons of plastic and nylon water sachets. Abundant PET bottles are equally available.
  • Buy Back: The Lawma buy-back program is a major component in recycling. This initiative helps to provide jobs and source of income for the youth and the community there by increasing the economic benefit of recycling.
  • Other investment opportunities: waste to energy, tire recycling, e-waste recycling, briquetting, aluminium cans, metals, car crushing, etc.

The Lawma Investor’s Guide can be downloaded at

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