" ITREALMS: ITAN advocates ban on fairly used IT device

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

ITAN advocates ban on fairly used IT device

FOLLOWING last week’s release of the Basel Action Network (BAN) study on electrical and electronic generated waste, otherwise known as e-waste on Lagos, Information Technology (Industry) Association of Nigeria (ITAN), has called for a total ban on importation of ‘second hand’ IT equipment.

This equipment includes Personal Computers (PCs), monitors, television sets (TVs) and cell phones among others.

ITAN is the core IT hardware corporate interest group and a member of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) founded on June 8, 1991 as Micro Computers Vendors' Association of Nigeria (MiVAN and changed to Computer Vendors' Association of Nigeria (CoVAN) in 1996. It later registered in April 2000 as ITAN.

BAN, based in Seattle, United States with coordinating center in Ibadan, Western Nigeria, had in the report of its recent said that Lagos has become a hub for dumping of unrepairable and unmarketable old electronic equipment, namely computers, monitors, TVs and cell phones.

This accounts for 75 per cent of estimated 500 40-foot containers imported monthly, according to the report.

In exclusive online chat with Daily Champion, ITAN president, Mr. Will Anyaegbunam, said though he was aware of junks coming into the country and primarily into the notorious Computer Village Ikeja-Lagos, “it is quite a surprise to me that the figure is as high as 500 containers”.

He advised the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to declare total ban on second hand PCs.

“I think its high time, SON cause a total ban on the importation of these second hand PCs of below a certain thresh-hold specification,” he declared.

Mr. Anyaegbunam also said that as this specification thresh-hold and even an age limit may suffer set back in terms of enforcement, “I would advocate a total ban on second hand IT equipment”.

He insisted that unless for those tested and verified imports meant for donation to educational institutions, “No second hand PCs should be allowed for resale”.

Also commenting on this, the immediate past president of ITAN, Mr. Chris Uwaje, said the problem is not new, pointing out that indeed, there is over 1, 400,000 possible Internet search hits on the topic of computer dumping and toxic wastes around the world.

“But while other nations have developed secured policy framework to safeguard their environment, Nigeria and indeed all of African continent have become a dumping ground,” he asserted.

Mr. Uwaje also cited a case in 1999, at the climax of the Y2K magical saga, when ITAN under his leadership raised the same alarm and wondered why the government is nothing taking this issue seriously as it should.

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