COP28: Lagos Signs Waste Project Investment Deals

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The Lagos State Government has signed two deals bordering on waste management at the ongoing 28th session of the Conference of Parties (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

According to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, waste conversion initiatives, which the state pitched at the global climate summit, have attracted significant interest from investors. These are the Advanced Garbage Collection and Waste-to-Energy project and the building of a new sewage treatment plant.

Mr Sanwo-Olu confirmed the deals on Sunday at an event held at Nigeria Pavilion, where he also presented Phase Two of the Lagos State Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan (LCARP) before global partners.

He said the two waste sector projects were at a pivotal stage, awaiting technical review by interested partners and disbursement of funds to transform the ideas into reality.

The development, the governor said, marked another step forward in Lagos’ journey towards environmental sustainability and resilience, noting that the projects, if successfully delivered, would turn what had been a burden into opportunities for the commercial capital.

Mr Sanwo-Olu said the investments represented his administration’s commitment to improving the lives of Lagosians and maintaining the status of the state as a beacon of progress.

“Two of our key initiatives, which are the Advanced Garbage Collection and Waste-to-Energy project, and Sewage Treatment Plant, have attracted significant investment interest. These projects are currently at a pivotal stage; we are waiting on the investors to conduct technical analysis and put in the funds to turn the ideas into reality.

“Given that all cities face a collective threat of climate change, bringing about solutions requires collaboration and partnership. Our participation at COP28 has been driven by the cardinal objective to have direct engagements on sustainability with committed partners who can collaborate with us to create sustainable solutions to our local environmental challenges. The global climate budget is reserved for sustainable development and for all of us to take action in mitigating impacts of environmental pollution and climate change,” he said.

Mr Sanwo-Olu said the state required a long-tenure investment exceeding $10 billion to build not just the required mitigation infrastructure, but also adequate redundancy to ensure sustainability. He added that 14 of the 30 projects were ideal for Public-Private Partnerships.

“As a committed government with dedicated leadership, we are not taking actions on our own; we are in conversations to ensure that real partners get involved. We are ready to lead from the front. We have a clear strategy of what we need to do and how we are going to achieve our climate mitigation objectives. Lagos’ success on this journey would not just be the success of Nigeria, but also an African and global success story,” Mr Sanwo-Olu said.

Mr Sanwo-Olu also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Sheikh Abdul Rahman Saif bin Saif Al Sharqi, chairman of the Nigerian-Arabian Gulf Chamber of Commerce (NAGCC), at JAFZA One Convention Centre in Dubai.

The agreement will facilitate, mutually undertake, and explore trade and investment opportunities between Lagos and Arabian Golf Chamber of Commerce (GCC) member countries.

The MoU will also provide a structured platform for dialogue, collaboration, and exchange of innovative ideas between the business communities of Lagos and Arabian GCC.

On his part, the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tokunbo Wahab, said Lagos was desirous of environmental sustainability, because of the threat posed by the observed rise in sea level and extreme temperatures.

The Commissioner pointed out that the LCARP document was the second of four planned frameworks designed by the State Government as a strategic response to climate change.

“If we fail to seek the required investment and build resilient infrastructure towards mitigating the consequences now, Lagos will need $33 billion by 2050 to fight the threat. Our strategy involves tapping into a variety of blended financial sources.”

Managing Director of Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Mr Muyiwa Gbadegesin, said Lagos faced escalating waste management issues, leading to flooding during extreme weather events.

He said the Waste-to-Energy plants would facilitate improved waste collection and treatment while reducing land demand for landfills. The project, he said, will be sited in the Epe area of Lagos and it is expected to process 760-kilo tonnes of municipal solid waste per year.

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