62 million Nigerians were currently living without access to clean water, according to the EU, and 27 percent of the total population of the country travel long distances daily to get potable water. Ketil Karlsen, EU’s Head of Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said this during the inauguration of a solar-powered motorised borehole in Lo-Gwom Kwi community, Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau. The project was at the instance of UNICEF, and funded by the EU. Describing the situation as “worrisome”, where people spend more than 30 minutes travelling to fetch water, Karlsen also decried the high rate of open defecation in the country, saying that 47 million Nigerians defecated in the open. According to the EU chief, 45, 000 under-five children died annually from various diseases caused by poor or little access to water, sanitation, and hygiene. Only 5.5 percent of schools and 5.2 percent of health facilities have basic, gender-sensitive water, sanitation, and hygiene services in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. The situation, however, compelled the EU to invest heavily on improving water supply and sanitation in the country in the past five years, one of which is the “Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Reform Programme III” project.
The Federal Ministry of Environment says that about 500,000 used computers, 75 percent of which are junk and unserviceable, are imported into Nigeria annually. The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Ibukun Odushotu, quoting a 2016 report by the Basel Action Network, a global body promoting a cleaner environment, said that only 25 percent of such imports actually worked. 60,000 tonnes of used electrical and electronic waste in containers were imported into the country annually through the Lagos ports and neighbouring countries. The report said Nigeria may have imported at least 15,700 tonnes of e-waste most of which are SCD television sets containing mercury; refrigerators and air conditioners containing HCL6. The FG had provided the legal framework and established NESREA, an institutional mechanism with the mandate to control and prevent technology that undermines environmental quality, in an effort to curb the growing trends of waste, including e-waste in the country.
The United Berger Auto Dealers Association says that daily car sales at its garages have dropped further by 98 percent this year as against 92 per cent drop recorded last year. The chairman, National Dealers Forum, UBADA, James-Brown Nwabueke, told the Vanguard that the association is doing everything possible to improve in their sales but to no avail. “In a week, we hardly sell up to two or three cars. Sometimes, we don’t sell anything in some weeks.” Nwabueke said that most buyers now purchase vehicles in other places like Festac and Western Avenue in Lagos because “it will take you up to five hours to come here, that’s why many people don’t come to Berger again.”
The total investment of StarTimes, a Chinese electronics and media company, in Nigeria, since the launch of operations in 2010 currently stands at $220 million (₦78.98 billion). The media firm, which offers digital terrestrial and satellite television services to consumers, had paid a total of $25 million in taxes to the Nigerian government and so far recruited over 1,000 local staff, of whom 97 percent are Nigerians, CEO, David Zhang said. The firm, Zhang said, during the second Chinese Film Festival in Abuja, had developed a network of nearly 3,000 distributors in the country with currently over four million active subscribers. The company have made due contribution to the popularisation of digital TV and economic development in the African country. Commenting on the “Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African villages,” Zhang said the firm will implement the project in 1,000 villages in Nigeria at the lunch, donating 20,000 decoders, 3,000 sets of solar energy products, 2,000 projector TV sets and 1,000 Digital TV sets built-in Combo decoder.