Lafarge Africa holds high-level expert conference on clean energy, circular economy in Nigeria  

Lafarge Africa Plc

Lagos, Nigeria, Leading innovative and sustainable building solutions company, Lafarge Africa Plc held the 6th edition of its Concrete Ideas stakeholder conference series. The conference which was held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos on the 19th of June 2023 brought together industry experts, business leaders and key decision-makers in the energy and waste management sector to examine Nigeria’s strategy to transition to clean or renewable energy and the opportunities the transition presents for Nigerian businesses and for boosting energy supply to reduce Nigeria’s huge energy deficit.

The conversation was organised in two-panel sessions; the first was themed “The Business of Clean Energy: Opportunities for Industries and SMEs” while the second looked at “Promoting Circular Economy through Sustainable Waste Management Practices.”

The workshop was formally opened by Prince Adebode Adefioye, Chairman, Lafarge Africa Plc., who expressed delight at the choice of the topic and the calibre of the experts assembled for the discussions. “Today’s subject is not just about chemistry, not just about Geocycle or decarbonization, it is about stimulating every part of our economy, creating incentives for investors in clean energy and for people and businesses to embrace the use of clean energy products and technologies. It allows Nigeria not only to boost its energy supply and create new high-value jobs but also to be at the forefront of reducing carbon emissions and saving our planet. Therefore, the whole idea is to bring people together to be able to stimulate ideas, even the banks and broader financial sector, to involve them in creating innovative tech and financial products that allow us to generate and use energy more effectively and productively”.

In his remarks, Khaled El Dokani, Country Chief Executive Officer, of Lafarge Africa Plc, said: “Fighting climate change and making the transition towards a greener economy requires a concerted effort by industries, individuals and the government.”

“As a leader in innovation, Lafarge will continue to collaborate with stakeholders and we expect that the discussions by a range of industry experts and public officials here present today, will provide a clear view of the business of clean energy and reveal the opportunities, insights and strategic agendas for leaders in the private and public sectors to accelerate our society’s access to clean energy,” he added.

In the session dedicated to the business of clean energy, the experts and Thought Leaders which include Engr Joseph Olayande, Acting Director General, Energy Commission of Nigeria, represented by Mr Ibrahim Sulu, Director of Energy Management, Energy Commission of Nigeria; Mr Olapade Durotoye, Managing Director Savannah Energy; and Mr. Ayo Ademilua, CEO, Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria; highlighted the need for adequate access to energy by hundreds of millions of Nigerians and the challenges affecting the adoption of clean energy. They also shared insights on the strategic choices operators, investors, regulators, and the government have to make to achieve the desired goals.

The experts concluded that to fully harness the many advantages that clean energy offers, the government and all the stakeholders in the energy sector must take bolder steps to combat the many problems militating against the mass adoption and use of renewable energy in Nigeria.

This they believe will make Nigeria a more attractive destination for global energy investment that will allow it to fund the transition towards lower carbon sources of energy such as wind, water, sun and biomass.

The second session discussed the challenges facing the waste sector, the potential of waste as a clean energy source, and the steps that can be taken towards promoting a circular economy to reduce waste generation.

The experts include Mr. Ola Oresanya, Immediate Past Commissioner for Environment, Ogun State; Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, MD/CEO, Lagos State Environmental protection agency; Mr. Ibrahim Adejuwon Odunboni, MD Lagos State Waste Management Authority; who was represented by Dr. Essien, Director of Sustainability, Mr. Wassim Elhusseini, MD/CEO of Nestle Nigeria Plc; represented by Mrs. Ndidi Amaka Uwadoka, and Prof. Alo Babajide, a retired Professor of Chemistry from the University of Lagos; advocated that circular thinking will be essential to avoid an ever-worsening impact of waste in Nigeria.

They affirmed that one of the ways to promote a circular economy and reduce waste generation is to encourage and promote responsible consumption amongst the citizens. They agreed that each stakeholder in the value chain must play their part optimally as weak adoption of circular economy choices by any group of stakeholders would affect the whole system.

Daniel Adedokun, the Head of Geocycle at Lafarge Africa also made a presentation to the audience about Geocycle’s operations as a leading provider of industrial, agricultural and municipal waste management services. Geocycle pre-processes and co-processes non-recyclable waste into a safe, usable resource with no residue.

In his presentation at the high-profile conference, Mr. Ola Oresanya, Immediate Past Commissioner for Environment Ogun State, commended the incredible job Lafarge Africa is doing for taking the lead in the circular economy through its Geocycle operations. He said: ‘Geocycle, a Lafarge subsidiary, works with manufacturers to collect waste such as non-recyclables and other hazardous wastes to co-process them in its cement kiln.’

He further said: “Out of the big players in Ogun State, Lafarge is the only one that has been consistent. They are the only company that has been engaging with us. They have invested in research to partner with the government and the private sector to solve the problem of waste.”

The meeting concluded with a vote of thanks from the Chief Financial Officer, Lafarge Africa Plc, Lolu Alade- Akinyemi, who stressed that the company will continue to pursue the road of dialogue and collaboration and strive to bring as many players under this platform of Concrete Ideas as possible. He noted that it is only through concerted cooperation and regular interaction can an understanding of the main issues involved be improved and the confidence required to forge a lasting and effective interrelationship among all the main parties, producers, consumers and investors alike be established.


Leave a Reply