Waste is a property and should be owned by those who generate them.
The President of the Waste Management Society of Nigeria WAMASON Architect Reuben Ossai stated this during the second international waste summit held in Lagos.
Architect Ossai explained that there is a right, ownership and responsibility attached to waste as a property.
"In law you understand that anybody that owns a property has right,interest and responsibility to the property. So is it too for waste.The people who generate waste are the owner of the waste and should be responsible for how the waste is managed".
"If you generate waste you have all the rights associated to that waste as a property and the responsibility is that you manage it. The right is that you have to own it and if it generates resources for you, you use it. It is the right and responsibility that goes with property ownership. You own the waste and should take care of it. But because of the technicalities involved in managing waste, then you have to pay for it management".
The WAMASON Boss called for the right framework to be put in place to ensure that the opportunities in the sector is well harnessed.
"The opportunities that waste management will give to this nation and the youths in terms of jobs will elude us if the right framework is not put in place. In 2012 in the UK, waste management provided 1.2% employment and over that in the US. If the sysyem is built with professionalism and a framework to work with, job opportunities will be created and the environment will be preserved. Until we have a framework for waste management in the country, the environment will continue to be degraded" he stressed.
Architect Ossai said people will be encouraged to pay for waste they generate if there is accountability and enforcement through a national waste management law.
A Waste Consultant to the Delta State Government Engineer Keluo Chukwuogo appealed to government at different levels to encourage local waste management by engaging the services of waste managers in the country.
"Indigenous waste managers understand the uniqueness of waste generated by the people and are in better position to manage them. All the equipments we use in Delta state are locally made by our own engineers. We have the manpower in the sector but unfortunately some people prefer to engage the services of expatriates".
"If more indigenous waste mangers are engaged there will be technological growth in the country, employment opportunities, in-country capital retention".