" ITREALMS: Beclouding eWaste recycling in Nigeria - ITREALMS

Monday, April 22, 2024

Beclouding eWaste recycling in Nigeria - ITREALMS

Features, Telecoms Clinic@ITREALMS ... making leadership SENSE with digital news!
This report showcases some of the key challenges faced by stakeholders determined to be advocates of e-waste in the country, writes REMMY NWEKE.

Beclouding eWaste recycling in Nigeria - ITREALMS

E-waste advocate emerges:
Just few months ago, Akin Lade, a resident of Canoe axis near Ajao Estate in Lagos was invited to attend a day free public forum on electronic waste hosted under the aegis of ITREALMS E-Waste Dialogue.

One of the take homes for Akin was the need to properly dispose electronic devices especially mobile phones that have reached their end of life, in other words devices no longer in use.

So, he went home clinching the programme of the event which contained a list of E-waste recycling operators especially in Lagos State.

From the event venue at Welcome Centre Hotels, along the International Airport Road, Lagos, Akin resolved to henceforth take heed towards ensuring that mobile devices, especially mobile phones no longer in use in his household, must be properly kept until he is ready to dispose them either at the next edition of ITREALMS E-Waste Dialogue or search for nearest recycling company.

Get Cash instantly:
That was how Akin became an advocate of E-Waste in his family and immediate neighbourhood of about 12 apartments. And as the Easter was being celebrated, he realised that he has gathered some six mobile phones whose end-life have been exhausted. Still wondering on what to do, he went on to his Facebook account and while browsing he stumbled upon an online advert by Hinckley Ewaste Recycling inviting interested individuals wishing to dispose their mobile phones in exchange for cash instantly. 

On a second look, it was not only about getting cash instantly but that he has to book an appointment with the company, which promises that all data will be wiped as mark of standard.

“Get cash INSTANTLY . Book you appointment with us today. All data wiped as standard. All Buy ALL Devices - Old, New or Broken,” part of the online advert on Facebook read.

Akin promptly booked appointment for Wednesday, April 10, 2024, a week in advance, with hope to ensure his availability by 11.25am at Hinckley office. So, on getting home, he began to search for the event brochure he got from the ITREALMS E-Waste Dialogue which contained list of e-waste collectors to reconfirm the e-waste agent is authentic. Of course, he saw Hinckley which office address was at Awolowo House, Obafemi Awolowo Street, Ikeja, opposite Computer Village, from the list.

FG & week-long holidays:
By Friday, April 5, 2024, Akin got the news report that the Federal Government of Nigeria has announced Tuesday and Wednesday as public holidays for the Eid Fitr Islamic festival and by Monday, he called the lines of the company, Hinckley to ensure they are open without any response. However, he decided he must not miss the appointment, hoping that since the company is dealing with public on appointment and refused to respond to calls, they must be very strict with rules of engagement including keeping to dates, despite public holidays.

Using Google map, he first located the Awolowo House on Wednesday morning and at about 10.45am, Akin opened the black gate to the mansion, heading to what looked like reception floor, he met some security men and asked for a direction to Hinckley office only to be informed that the company has moved. Efforts to call the two lines of the Hinckley available online was not successful as the lines claimed to be switched off. Then, he asked the security guys where the company must have relocated which they were unaware, but added that most companies at Awolowo House have moved out.

Akin then looked round at the entrance to know if he could get any clue all to no avail, so he headed home.

Discovery of Hinckley:
It was on Friday, April 12 morning that he now received a reply to his initial Short Message Service (SMS) to one of the Hinckley customer lines that they are open. Despite being angry with non-response since Monday, Akin was determined to disposing the few mobile phones he was able to gather properly. It was then, he began to check again for where to get the company correct address which was still at Awolowo Road, but now moved further down opposite Access bank while heading to Allen Junction.

Therefore, on getting to the now latest address of Hinckley, Akin was directed upstairs where he met a lady officer who asked him to wait at the inside waiting room. Some 30 minutes later, she came out from her office cubicle to invite Akin to the E-Waste collection unit. 
Beclouding eWaste recycling in Nigeria - ITREALMS

On entrance, Akin was asked to register his details including full names, address, and mobile phone numbers. This was followed by the lady asking Akin if he is ready, ‘let us have your scrap devices.’

Before placing the items on the table, Akin asked if they also accept or buy other electronic devices like batteries, and cables. The response he got was that nothing more is accepted aside mobile phones excluding the battery. Akin was taken aback when he asked how much a mobile phone is disposed in exchange and was told every mobile phone often described as ‘scrap’ goes for N1,000. And he asked again, whether if it was every type of mobile phone, the lady declared ‘yes.’ Dumbfounded, Akin managed to resolve within himself ‘there is no need taking those devices home’ before he began to drop them one after another on the desk in front of the lady collector. So that five devices already on the table attracted N5,000 cash only.

Troubled Akin:
Worrisome for Akin was that he spent an average of N1,000 on transportation to get to Ikeja office of Hinckley and going home will take same cost leaving him with N3000 and considering the fact that he had earlier attempted to dispose these devices, penultimate Wednesday, but unsuccessful because of public holidays, it means that he merely gave out the devices for N1,000 in his pocket after fare deduction.

Comparing this with the sale to an Aboki at N300 per mobile and stress of moving around Lagos to the E-waste collector’s office like Hinckley. In fact, for him, N300 x 5 is =1500, which showed that instead of N1000, he should have made N1500 without the stress and using his time for some other things than commuting to Ikeja to fulfill a dream.

Within him, Akin was also furious that Hinckley should have gone beyond advertising instant cash to the amount they buy each mobile phone device no matter the condition or kind of phone hitherto.

Aboki Collector:
Meanwhile, Akin, would have made a little more cash, saved time without the stress involved if only he had given the Aboki all the end-of-life mobile devices he had with him a day before.

Hence, those desiring to dispose their devices properly and have to visit the offices of ewaste collectors nearby, should be adequately compensated so as to make the efforts worth the while, otherwise the campaign for proper and reasonably dispose end of life devices by the likes of National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) and E-waste Producer Responsibility Organisation Nigeria (
EPRON), will continue to be beclouded, whereas suffering lull in adoption at the end of the day.

No comments:

Featured post @ITREALMS

Beclouding eWaste recycling in Nigeria - ITREALMS

Features, Telecoms Clinic@ITREALMS ... making leadership SENSE with digital news! This report showcases some of the key challenges faced by ...