By Harris Emanuel – Uyo
Akwa Ibom State government has spoken of plans to convert solid waste being generated in the state to electricity to power its industrial city, Commissioner for Environment and Petroleum Resources, Sir Charles Udoh has said.
Udoh told Vanguard that the state government was already in talks with foreign investors on the project, but blamed the novel Covid 19 for changing the economic dynamic, noting that the government was proactive in managing the solid waste being generated by the populace.
He said, ‘’There are different ways to evacuate or dispose of waste. Some people use incinerators, while others decide to use landfills. And because Uyo for instance, has a peculiar ravine issue, it will be absolute insanity to think about using an incinerator when you need to use refuse to do landfill. Even when you use an incinerator, there must be some inconveniences. Therefore, we are using landfill as our waste management process.
“As a government, we are proactive. But going forward, we are currently in discussion with an investor in a bid to turn the waste into power, and once we conclude the process, the waste would no longer be used for landfill. The waste would be used to generate electricity.
“And the question would be, what are you going to use the electricity for? We are going to use the electricity to power the industrial city in Itam that houses the tissue, plastic, toothpick, and pencil factories. So, the plan is ongoing.
“You should also understand that in 2020, the economic dynamic and everything about the global space has been epileptic and plans have been thrown overboard, deadlines have been shifted and arrangements have been readjusted. So, these are ongoing concerns that the government is working on.’’
Udoh also talked about having a standardized Memorandum of Understanding between the oil firms and the various stakeholders to ensure peaceful coexistence between oil companies and their hosts.
“MoUs have different interested parties-from the core oil-producing communities, to the catchment areas, the oil companies, traditional institutions, local government, and state government. Now for you to have a standardized document, everybody must be on the same page. So, the process is ongoing’’, he said.
He added, ‘’The stage we are now is having stakeholders’ workshop where everybody will aggregate. We have given the sample of the MoU to everybody and the reason is for them to go and make inputs. And the next level is for all of us to sit down and aggregate our different inputs and agree on a standard MoU. That’s what we are doing. We are firmly on track.’’
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