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In Lagos, Nigeria, truckloads of electronic waste illegally imported from developed countries is causing problems for human health and the environment. It’s a towering mountain of waste that greets the eyes as cars zip by on nearby highways and head into the central area of Lagos. Formerly Nigeria’s capital city, this commercial nerve centre is one of Africa’s fastest growing economies and is its most populated urban centre, with an estimated 21 million residents. But for all of Lagos’ appeal, the megacity is drowning in rubbish. It is mostly plastic waste, which threatens the environment in no small measure. Yet, growing piles of another kind of waste could prove to be far more dangerous. Overwhelming amounts of electronic waste are piling up in landfills across the port city. Also referred to as Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) or simply e-waste, it involves discarded items that have power or battery supplies. Old electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) such as computers, phones, printers, televisions and refrigerators, commonly end up as e-waste. As demand for new technology grows nationwide, and Lagos’s tech scene expands, so does the problem of mounting levels of e-waste, and the dilemma of recycling it. Although it states otherwise on its website, the Lagos Waste Management Agency (LAWMA) does not, in practice, specially treat e-waste by collecting and sorting it before it arrives at dumpsites. E-waste is one of the fastest growing types of waste in the world. But globally, the eco-friendly recycling of e-waste is optimally low: more than half of almost 50 million metric tonnes of e-waste generated worldwide ends up in landfills or is illegally transported, according to the United Nations Environmental Programme. As trendier technologies emerge, the lifespans of consumer electronics are getting even shorter, worsening the issue. The world is currently generating e-waste faster than it can be recycled or repurposed. Developed nations are responsible for more than half of that. In 2014, the United States alone generated 11 million metric tonnes of e-waste, 80 percent of which was exported to poorer countries where they are either sold for re-use, mined for raw materials or abandoned in landfills. African countries like Nigeria bear the brunt: An estimated 500 containers, each carrying about 500,000 used computers and other electronic equipment, enter the country’s ports every month from the United States, Europe and Asia. A ready market for used EEE encourages the importation, 80 million Nigerians live on less than $2 a day, yet more than 90 million use internet enabled-gadgets. “Most people will buy used phones and computers rather than spend all their money on new ones,” says Bello Ibrahim, a small-scale gadget trader and repairer based in Lagos. It’s a market that yields quick returns he says, perhaps more so than selling only brand new products. Big EEE sellers often have both new and fairly-used options available for their customers. Ibrahim, 28, works out of a small space in Computer Village, the largest information technology (IT) market in West Africa and confirms that most of the businesses here trade in used EEE. Around 18,300 metric tonnes of used EEE arrive Lagos in shipping containers annually, originating mainly from Germany, the UK and Belgium, according to a United Nations-funded study. The United States contributes some 20 percent to the EEE importation figures. Apart from computers and phones, the e-waste also include air conditioners and LCD TVs, which contain mercury. However, more than half of used EEE imported to the country is near end of life or completely damaged. European countries shipped up to 60,000 metric tonnes of used EEE to Nigeria in 2016 alone and almost a third of these products were unuseable. It is illegal to import end-of-life EEE, which is basically e-waste, into the country according to national laws, but weak testing systems at Lagos ports mean smugglers can sneak their consignments in. A large percentage of used EEE shipped into Lagos finds its way to Computer Village. Located in Ikeja, central Lagos, the IT market is the main destination for thousands of Lagosians who troop here to buy used phones and laptops or to repair old ones. E-waste is generated on a large scale daily. But Lagos lacks an e-waste collection process, so Ibrahim, the phone trader, and other business owners here dispose of their bad gadgets by selling them off to scavengers in the city. They come every morning, Ibrahim tells TRT World, and cart away loads of old computers, printers and phones in exchange for some money. Ibrahim is not sure what they use the old equipment for but is fairly certain they resell the parts to manufacturers. In reality, the e-waste from Computer Village and all over Lagos ends up in three landfills scattered around the city. One of them is Olusosun, the biggest dumpsite in Africa, measuring up to 42.7 hectares and sitting right in the heart of Lagos. It is the sky-high heap of waste that most people notice upon entering the city centre. Although e-waste statistics from Lagos are unavailable, the dumpsite alone receives up to 10,000 metric tonnes of garbage daily according to LAWMA. A fair amount of it is e-waste, workers here tell TRT World. Shamsudeen Muraino, 50, has worked here as a scavenger for over a decade. The waste here is never sorted, Muraino confirms, and both plastic and e-waste are handled in the same manner. Every day, Muraino and a hundred others dig through the piles of waste deposited at Olusosun with bare hands. More companies buy plastic waste, but metal parts and old computers prove valuable too, the scrap worker says. Often, some of the equipment needs some repair work. But when they are totally damaged, they are burned and broken apart to be mined for precious metals like gold: A metric tonne of electronic scrap from used computers contains more gold than can be extracted from 17 tonnes of gold ore, according to the Environmental Justice Atlas. Cables and wires are useful too, Muraino says. Thousands of bundles of wires are burnt every day to get to the copper. All of which is then sold to manufacturers to make new bundles. It’s the only work Muraino knows, and he doesn’t plan on retiring soon. Muraino and his colleagues are unaware of how dangerous their work is. The men tear apart the burned gadgets with crude tools and then remove their treasure with bare hands. This dismantling process releases harmful metals like lead and mercury - heavily present in e-waste - into their systems, the soil and surrounding water bodies too, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). The burning activity also releases toxic fumes into the air, affecting the scavengers and residents in the area. Burning radioactive material has already proven devastating for Muraino and his colleagues once. Last March, Olusosun was engulfed in a massive fire that raged for weeks, sending blankets of soot over the area. Muraino and hundreds of other scavengers, who had built tented living quarters at the dumpsite, had their homes razed. Residents in the area had to deal with dark clouds for weeks and Lagos waste authorities were forced to shut down operations in the site temporarily. The fire only contributed to an already heavily polluted ecosystem. Underground water around the Olusosun dump site has been studied and found to be heavily concentrated in lead levels, above the recommended standards for drinking water by Nigeria’s standards organisation. Exposure to toxic e-waste substances has been linked to thyroid dysfunction and spontaneous abortions in pregnant women. Long-term results include DNA damage. Children are most vulnerable according to the WHO, with exposure causing irreversible damage to their central nervous, immune, reproductive and digestive systems. Yet, importing e-waste continues to be a lucrative business in Nigeria, despite the West African giant’s ratification of the Basel Convention - an international framework regulating the global movement of hazardous waste - 24 years ago. At a national level, the National Environmental Standards and Regulation Agency (NESREA) is making efforts to tackle the e-waste problem by enforcing a number of laws and policies regulating the importation of used EEE. The National Environment Act of 2011, for example, stipulates a life term for persons who carry or generate hazardous waste. The organisation is working with Interpol, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and sister agencies to apprehend e-waste importers. But there has been little progress. Containers carrying vehicles filled with e-waste - a trick employed to mislead port officials since importing vehicles is legal - continue to dock in Lagos from the US, China and Europe, according to the Global E-waste Monitor. Lagos is unequipped to handle the burden: Although e-waste recycling businesses are springing up in Nigeria, it remains largely unregulated and in the informal sector, managed by untrained and unprotected scavengers like Muraino. “People are not aware that there are hazardous elements in their e-waste,” says Belinda Osarugue Osayemwen, an official at Hinckley Group, the first e-waste recycling company to operate in Lagos. Although the company has been operating for over two years, it faces serious competition from scavengers who buy off instead of simply collecting e-waste, a model that is unsustainable for recyclers. “Those guys give (clients) a higher value than what a formal recycler will ever give because they are not incurring any cost,” explains Osayemwen. Rising levels of internally generated e-waste, as well as a lackadaisical attitude towards recycling in general, adds to the burden. Nigeria generates 1.1 million metric tonnes of e-waste annnually (imported e-waste included) and although there are no numbers to indicate how much is being recycled, all evidence suggests that very little is. E-waste dumping is not new or limited to Nigeria. In 1988, Italy shipped 18,000 barrels of toxic waste marked to a village in Delta State. In 2016, an explosive investigation showed that GPS-tracked e-waste dropped off at American recycling companies ended up in Kenya. Every year, Ghana groans under the weight of 40,000 metric tonnes of imported e-waste. It will only get worse: the International Telecommunications Union estimates that 52 million metric tonnes of e-waste will be generated globally by 2021; a good percentage will be from the global West, and only 20 per cent will be properly recycled. Environmental experts are urging the Nigerian government to ratify the Bamako Treaty, a continental framework which aims to place an outright ban on the importation of hazardous waste. Many agree that tighter law enforcement is needed at the ports to stop e-waste from coming in. An outright ban on used EEE would be too harsh and would put “most of us out of business”, Ibrahim says, besides worsening already bad employment figures in the country. “In developed climes, you’d have an extended producer responsibility (EPR) system, where producers take responsibility for the recycling and processing of the equipment,” says Osayemwen of Hinckley. “We don’t have that structure here. It’s every man for himself.” By Sola Lawal Source: https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/nigeria-has-become-an-e-waste-dumpsite-for-europe-us-and-asia-24197
Technology has changed a lot of manual processes in several sectors since it became ubiquitous in the past decade. However, it appears all we’ve seen so far is only a tip of the iceberg. More revolutions are changing the way business is done, and it is getting a bit more exciting. Like many other processes that technology has given a Midas touch, companies are now learning to automate their invoicing processes, in a way that saves up valuable resources wasted on chasing payments. Invoicing is a very familiar term for business owners in all categories, the small, medium or large. Each day, thousands of invoices are exchanged among companies, particularly in larger companies or enterprises dealing with a large cash flow. The most common ways smaller operators currently send invoices is by paper, email or PDFs. They cost so much time in processing, require a lot of paper work and are prone to human errors. It doesn’t end there. Timely payments help company owners and customers set clear expectations of their income and expenses, but these invoices are also rarely attended to as due. Outstanding payments have driven companies into bankruptcy and forced some to shut down. Technology is changing this narrative for good. Corporates and individuals can now conveniently say goodbye to the days when transactional documents used in interacting with vendors relied heavily on papers and follow-ups. Electronic invoicing, also known as e-invoicing is replacing this old system. Research has shown that clients are more likely to pay e-invoices on time than paper-based invoices, which often get lost. E-invoicing is the interchange of the invoice document between the supplier and the buyer in an integrated automated format. E-invoicing holds much potentials for the growth of businesses and will help them save time and money by allowing the direct exchange of invoices between suppliers’ and buyers’ financial systems irrespective of location. It has the potential to improve payment times, and thus, cash flow in organisations. Practical examples show that companies who process their invoices digitally save time and money. In this light, governments in some parts of the world have noticed the advantages and are pushing it in the private and public sector. In Europe, e-invoicing had already become law for businesses to government (B2G) since 2015. Portugal took it a step higher by being the first country to make electronic invoicing mandatory for private businesses. In Germany, the electronic billing for suppliers of public institutions will be mandatory from November 2020 onward, while in Australia and New Zealand, e-invoicing is being championed by government and small-business advocates to fast-track adoption. The two nations are hoping to save $30 billion over 10 years by driving e-invoicing to achieve more streamlined payments. In Nigeria, SystemSpecs is already blazing the trail in the provision of e-invoicing solutions, however very few enterprises (public or private) and individuals are exposed to the huge gain of this technology. Most companies still rely on mailing scanned copies of invoices or originals. Digital transformation of businesses in the country seem to be happening at snail speed. E-invoicing might be a little part of the overall digitization of businesses, but it has significant benefits when it comes to improving the bottom-line. E-invoicing will significantly improve productivity for businesses large and small, and reduce the costs of doing business for both government and industries. Tax authorities worldwide are making use of e-invoicing abilities to boost their collection rates. It is also applicable in business to consumers (B2C) segment. For instance, with the Remita e-invoicing technology developed by SystemSpecs, individuals can exchange e-invoices and clear bills at the click of a button through their preferred channel. They can pay by cards, through their bank accounts, e-wallets, QR codes and through the Remita app, where they simply sign up. The e-invoice already carries a payment link and interface, reducing the rigours of disclosing bank account details or accommodating excuses from payers who simply want to drag payments. It also generates receipt once payment is successful, making it extremely easy to track transactions. Businesses in Nigeria hoping to get ahead of the game must make the switch early. “By switching to e-invoicing, organisations are future-proofing their systems. They aren’t just making the business more efficient today, but making it easier to integrate and use cloud and automated technology in the future – giving the business an edge over its competitors,” an expert opines. E-invoicing is gaining traction and projections show it will grow exponentially in the next couple of years. No doubt, beyond the private sector, we’ll see more regulatory authorities in countries making e-invoicing mandatory, especially as they realise the advantages of e-invoicing when it comes to tax collection and overall business efficiency. It presents a major paradigm shift that will be useful in a country such as Nigeria. Tayo Ejiofor is a Lagos-based accountant and Tax Consultant Source: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2019/02/how-e-invoicing-technology-can-change-business-trend-in-nigeria/
Are you a tech-savvy or love to buy gadgets? If so, stay with me. In this post, I’m going to tell you 5 gadgets that you should have. And If you haven’t then bought it today. 1. Fitness Tracker: A Fitness tracker is worthy of investment. You can track how many steps you take, how many calories you burn. You can track your activity, set your goal. A good and premium fitness tracker has some good features like GPS, Heart rate, Multi-sport tracking, Cardio fitness level, Call and text alerts etc. A fitness tracker can automatically track your sleeping duration as well. So, If you already haven’t fitness tracker, then you should buy a new one. If you want a suggestion, then I would say Fitbit Flex 2. Fitbit Flex 2 is a best budget fitness tracker. 2. Power Bank: If you travel frequently then this device you must have. Many times happens to me, my phone battery low and it’s turn off. In that case, a power bank is useful. You must have at least 10000mAh power bank. 3. E-reader: I love to read e-books, that’s why I bought a Kindle reader last year. If you also love to read e-book then you should have a kindle reader. You can buy Kindle Paperwhite E-reader. It has great battery backup, 300ppi High-Resolution Display. 4. A Backup Drive: If you have lots of important data then you must have a backup copy. And if you love to store movies, music, family photos, and games then you should also have a backup drive. If you are looking for a solution to backup your data, then I would say you have three best option. You can buy an external hard drive or NAS storage, or you can store your data in the cloud. But, In my opinion, the best option is buying a good NAS storage or an external Hard Drive. It’s a one-time investment. 5. Gaming Headset: If you are a gamer then you already know how important it is having a good gaming headset. I would suggest you buy Hyperx cloud brand gaming headset. A gaming headset can give you great clear sound, noise canceling feature etc. Conclusion: I hope you like and enjoyed this post. Last year I bought Kindle E-reader, this year I am planning to upgrade my Fitness tracker. If you are a techy guy then I hope you already have all of these gadgets. If you don’t, then you should buy, if you can afford. Do share this post on Google+, Facebook, and let me know if I have missed something to add. Author: This post is written by Melvin Barnes, he is founder and owner of chiefroofinginc.com
This is witchcraft! Or, how else would I describe a device that gives you the location and time information anywhere on or near the surface of the earth and in any weather? Without leaving your sitting room, but with the right gadget, you can literally monitor the physical events taking place anywhere on earth. When we talk of "everyday technology," this is it! I am talking of a global positioning system (GPS). Like many advanced technologies, the internet included, GPS is a product of a research project funded by the United States Department of Defence. Global positioning system satellites evolved from a mission by the US for total earth surveillance for war and military purposes. Obviously this technology is dual-use, as a host of non-military applications have been spun-off. The technology is accessible by anyone with a GPS receiver and it is free! However, you may not be getting the most precise and accurate signals, as those are reserved for the US military and select civilians. I am sure we are still happy with what we are getting, since the US government has spent billions of dollars developing and perfecting the GPS technology and all anyone has to pay for is the cost of his or her own GPS receiver gadget. For under $180, you can tap into this technology and obtain accurate enough data (latitude, longitude, altitude) of your location. You can also choose a location from a map, enter its grid numbers into your receiver, and obtain step-by-step directions to get to the location. For a non-technical introduction to the topic, you could consult the book "GPS for Everyone," which was written by L. Casey Larijani and published by American Interface Corporation, New York. By Prof. Foluso Ladeinde
Yes, it can work if it is properly implemented. It has nothing to do with Nigeria, its more about proper implementation with the right equipment. The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a network of about 30 satellites orbiting the Earth at an altitude of 20,000 km. The system was originally developed by the US government for military navigation but now anyone with a GPS device, be it a SatNav, mobile phone or handheld GPS unit, can receive the radio signals that the satellites broadcast. Wherever you are on the planet, at least four GPS satellites are ‘visible’ at any time. Each one transmits information about its position and the current time at regular intervals. These signals, travelling at the speed of light, are intercepted by your GPS receiver, which calculates how far away each satellite is based on how long it took for the messages to arrive. Once it has information on how far away at least three satellites are, your GPS receiver can pinpoint your location using a process called trilateration. Trilateration Imagine you are standing somewhere on Earth with three satellites in the sky above you. If you know how far away you are from satellite A, then you know you must be located somewhere on the red circle. If you do the same for satellites B and C, you can work out your location by seeing where the three circles intersect. This is just what your GPS receiver does, although it uses overlapping spheres rather than circles. The more satellites there are above the horizon the more accurately your GPS unit can determine where you are. GPS and Relativity GPS satellites have atomic clocks on board to keep accurate time. General and Special Relativity however predict that differences will appear between these clocks and an identical clock on Earth. General Relativity predicts that time will appear to run slower under stronger gravitational pull – the clocks on board the satellites will therefore seem to run faster than a clock on Earth. Furthermore, Special Relativity predicts that because the satellites’ clocks are moving relative to a clock on Earth, they will appear to run slower. The whole GPS network has to make allowances for these effects – proof that Relativity has a real impact. Find related sites on relativity with physics.org