Thursday, February 22, 2024

Lagos secures financing deals for two waste conversion projects at COP28

  • Seeks long-term investments for 30 other sustainability projects
  • Signs trade agreement with Arabian Gulf Commerce Chamber

Lagos State’s participation in the ongoing 28th session of Conference of Parties (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, has yielded a quick dividend of opportunities.

Two waste conversion initiatives, which the state pitched at the global climate summit, have attracted significant interest from investors. They are the Advanced Garbage Collection and Waste-to-Energy project, and the building of a new Sewage Treatment Plant.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Sunday, broke the news at an event held at Nigeria Pavilion, where he also presented the Phase Two of the Lagos State Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan before global partners.

Sanwo-Olu said the two waste sector projects were at a pivotal stage, awaiting technical review by interested partners and disbursement of funds in order to transform the ideas to 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 to opportunity for the state.

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

He said, “Today marks a significant milestone in our journey towards sustainability and resilience. Two of our key initiatives, which are 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.”

Sanwo-Olu told the multilateral audience that the LCARP document was Lagos’ strategic roadmap towards a sustainable future. The resilience framework, he said, identified 30 ambitious projects, cutting across critical sectors including, transportation, renewable energy and waste management.

The Governor 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 Partnership.

“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,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, said Lagos was desirous of environmental sustainability, because of the threat posed by 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.

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

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

Introduction of Waste-to-Energy plants, he said, would facilitate improved waste collection, 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.

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

The agreement will facilitate, mutually undertake, explore trade and investment opportunities between Lagos and Arabian Gulf Chamber of Commerce 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.

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