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ABSTRACT

Achieving sustainable national development in
Nigeria is incomplete without creative thinking, risk taking and business
consciousness. Presently, the nation’s economy is recessed and the intent of
this study is to justify entrepreneurship as a veritable approach to management
of environmental wastes for sustainable national development in this period of
recession. The study adopted a survey research. In line with objectives of the
study, questionnaire comprising 2 research questions with 16 multiple choice
items was administered to 100 respondents who are professionals in the fields
of engineering and environmental design and technology. Copies of the
questionnaire not returned were replaced to ensure the target number (100) was
met. The professionals were selected through a disproportionately stratified
sampling technique. The questionnaire was constructed using Likert Five-Point
Scale Response Alternative and analysed using weighted mean. The decision rule
of acceptability was weighted means of 3.5 and above while those below 3.5 were
rejected. The respondents accepted entrepreneurial approach to management of
environmental wastes as one of the ways to sustain national development in
Nigeria. The study recommends among others privatization of environmental waste
management.

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Keywords: Entrepreneurship,
Environmental waste, Sustainable development and waste management

 

 

INTRODUCTION

It is very rare for Nigeria’s political elites in power to
admit anything that is not favourably disposed to the government of the day. When
they do, it means such a thing is serious and should not be taken lightly. In the
third quarter of 2016, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance Mrs Kemi Adeosun told the
Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that the nation was in technical
recession (Adebayo, 2016). This admittance renewed the call for diversification
of Nigeria’s economy which for decades has been largely dependent on oil.  The Organization of Petroleum Exporting
Countries, OPEC (2016) stated that petroleum exports revenue represents over
90 per cent of total exports revenue of Nigeria. The Central
Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in its report for Q2 and Q4 of 2015 stated that out of ?811.82
billion realized during the period, oil revenue accounted for 57.56 per cent of
total federally-collected revenue, while the balance of N598.58 billion or
42.44 per cent, was collected from non-oil revenue sources (Eboh, 2016). The
report also noted that Nigeria’s earnings from the petroleum sector dropped
sharply, as revenue from the sale of crude oil dipped by N1.114 trillion to
N1.86 trillion in the 2015 fiscal year; stressing that the country’s crude oil
revenue for the 2015 fiscal year dipped by 37.47 per cent from N2.973 trillion
recorded in 2014. The trend has continued.

 

Environmental wastes are objects, materials or substances
found around surroundings of living organisms that are discarded after primary use. Though not useless or worthless, they
are defective and have no direct use. Waste Atlas Partnership (2014) discovered
that the wastes dump sites in Nigeria at Epe, Solous 2, Olushosun (all in Lagos
State), Lapite (Ibadan, Oyo State) and Eneka (Port Harcourt) were among the 50
biggest dump sites in the world. The situation in other urban areas in Nigeria
is not different. One would hardly visit any urban area in the country without
seeing neglected environment wastes dump sites. This is an affirmation of the discovery
of Waste Atlas Partnership (2014). The most annoying aspect of this
environmental quagmire is the impunity at which wastes are indiscriminately
disposed in these urban areas by residents. This is dangerous to health.
Government sees it as a serious burden. It has formed environmental protection
agencies to no avail. Those saddled with the responsibility of managing waste
disposal seem to have been overwhelmed by heaps of refuse across urban areas in
the country. Huge sums of money have been spent. It appears government has no
solution to this teething problem, and frustration has set in. Recently, Imo
State government in deliberately abandoned mountain of smelly refuse along the
ever busy Douglas Road, Owerri (Nkwopara & Alozie, 2016). If the people and
government see environmental wastes as source of wealth, wastes will not be
abandoned; Nigerian cities will not be among 50 biggest
dump sites in the world; frustration will not set in and tax payers’ monies
will not be spent on waste management. In fact, revenue will be
generated to coffers of government.  This
calls for entrepreneurship.

THE REFUSE DUMP ALONG DOUGLAS ROAD, OWERRI, IMO
STATE
Source: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/10/owerri-refuse-we-deliberately-left-it-to-punish-indigenes-imo-govt/

 

Entrepreneurship is about innovations, new
solutions, creativity and new ways of operating. It is a person who wants to
work for himself in the context of business; it means to start business. Some
argued that entrepreneurship is about solving problems and not making money.
However, the result of solving problem may lead to making a lot of money. Entrepreneurship
is the capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture
along with any of its risks in order to make profit (WebFinance Inc., 2016). Deshpande (2014) defined
entrepreneurship approach as a multi-dimensional course of action based on
imagination, initiative, innovating and motivating attitude as principal
dimensions that is designed to address challenges evolved in the external
environment after studying its overall & segmental viability and undertaken
to reach the desired goal in any particular domain. Imbibing entrepreneurial
spirit which is characterized by innovation and risk-taking is a welcome
development in the quest to diversify Nigerian economy. More so, entrepreneurial
spirit is an essential part of a nation’s ability to succeed in an ever
changing and increasingly competitive global marketplace (WebFinance
Inc., 2016).

 

These dwindling oil fortune, call for diversification of
Nigeria’s economy and numerous refuse sites in Nigeria necessitate the presentation
of this paper with a view to encouraging various state governments to advantage
of the economic potentials that abound in effective management of environmental
wastes for sustainable national development and survival. Thus, the general
purpose of this study is to justify entrepreneurship in environmental waste
management as a sustainable tool for national development in Nigeria.
Specifically, the study seeks:

1.                 
To identify economic potentials of environmental
waste management

2.                 
To determine the relationship between entrepreneurship
in environmental waste management and sustainable national development in
Nigeria

 

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

Economy of Nigeria in
Brief

OPEC (2016) stated that Nigeria has
over 183 million inhabitants. It also stated that the oil and gas sector
accounts for about 35 per cent of gross domestic product, and petroleum exports
revenue represents over 90 per cent of total exports revenue; stressing
that apart from petroleum, Nigeria’s other natural resources include natural
gas, tin, iron ore, coal, limestone, niobium, lead, zinc and arable land. Nigeria
is also blessed with human resources. A careful study National Bureau of
Statistics, NBS (2016) reveals the following:

Average PMS Price                                         –           N147.3

CPI (12
Month Average)                                –           12.98 %

Unemployment rate                                        –           13.3 %

Underemployment rate                                   –           19.3 %

Youth Unemployment/Underemployment     –           49.5 %

GDP by:

Expenditure                                                    –           2.11 %

Final Household Consumption                       –           1.24
%

Capital Formation                                           –           4.37 %

In the Second Quarter of 2016, the nation’s Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) declined by -2.06% (year-on-year) in real terms. This
was lower by 1.70% points from the growth rate of –0.36%

 

Environmental Waste
Management

Environmental waste management is the collection, transportation,
processing, recycling or disposal of waste materials sourced from human setting.
It covers all activities required to control waste within tolerable limit from
inception to final disposal. Chandra (2015) stated that environmental waste management promotes
proper management and utilization of industrial waste, delivering in-depth, state-of-the-art
information on the physicochemical properties, chemical composition, and
environmental risks associated with industrial waste from the sugar, pulp and
paper, tanning, distilling, textile, petroleum hydrocarbon, and agrochemical
sectors. United
Nations Environmental Programme, UNEP (2013) stated that following
effective waste management practices could provide subsequent generations a
more robust economy, a fairer and more inclusive society and a cleaner
environment. Effective management of environmental wastes will definitely
result to valuable materials being recovered for reuse and in the process new
jobs and new business opportunities are created.

 

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is the willingness and ability of
an individual or group of individuals to seek out investment opportunities in
an environment; and being able to establish and run a venture that will harness
the discovered opportunities successfully. It encourages creativity, new ideas,
and innovations. The entrepreneur is a financial and social risk taker. He devotes
his valuable time and efforts to get the best from areas that most people
neglect with to being rewarded.

 

There has been a great deal of attention paid to
entrepreneurship over the past few years in Nigeria, stemming primarily from
the discovery by economic analysts that small firms contribute considerably to
growth and vitality of the economy. In her inaugural lecture at the University
of Abuja, Professor Anyanwu said that entrepreneurship is a catalytic tool for
fostering economic development in Nigeria (Ayobolu, 2015). The position of
Professor Anyanwu was supported by Dangote (2016) who stated that entrepreneurship
is known to be a leading vehicle of job creation and economic growth all over
the world. As such, in his words:

“countries pay special attention to the needs of entrepreneurs by
creating strong infrastructural frameworks, conducive policy and regulatory
environments, and strong legal protections, improving access to capital, and
protecting intellectual property rights and infant industries and technologies
from unfair competition”.

Environmental Waste Management and
National Development in Nigeria

As urban population continues to grow, the problem
of inadequate supply of infrastructures – housing, schools, hospitals, road
networks will continue to be overstretched, resulting in an unhealthy
environment characterised by improper waste disposal, and other poor sanitary
conditions which further pollute the air, water and soil in Nigeria (Ahmed,
2011). No doubt, waste is a potential danger by virtue of its nature
and composition, and so its management has severe consequences on the safety
and security of the public. However, effective waste management is being
mainstreamed into national development frameworks globally. It requires a more
integrated and well-engineered social instrument to synchronize it with the
economic development of a nation (Ossai, 2016). Nigeria should not be left
behind. Ilesanmi (2012) pointed out entrepreneurial opportunities in
environmental waste management in Nigeria to include motorized street cleaning,
marketing of wheeler bins, and waste conversion – e.g. conversion of wastes to
methane gas and electricity. If these opportunities are achieved, gainful
employment opportunities will be created and electricity supply will be
boosted. These are key ingredients of sustainable national development anywhere
in the world. The assertions of Illesanmi (2012) corroborate Mba (2015) who
stated that Nigeria can generate billions of Naira annually from environmental
wastes generated in the country. Mba (2015) added that individuals could turn
wastes into source of passive income. He suggested recycling of environmental
wastes like United States that generated 1.3 quadrillion British Thermal Units
(Btu) in 2010. According to him, the Btu is equivalent to 229 million barrels
of oil. Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, CAFE
(2016) stated that environmental wastes can be composted and use as manure for
agricultural purpose. This will definitely lead to increase in food supply and
income. Benefits of increasing food supply and income to families has an
important significance to global sustainability (Modrigues & Lopez-Real, 1999).

 

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

A survey research was adopted for
the study. Questionnaire comprising 2 research questions (in line with the
objectives of the study) with 20 multiple choice items was administered to 100
professionals in the fields of engineering and environmental design and
technology. The professionals cut across various disciplines in the fields and
were selected through a disproportionately stratified sampling technique. The
questionnaire was constructed using Likert Five-Point Scale Response
Alternative and analysed using weighted mean. The formula for calculating the
Weighted Mean is shown below:

                                             `X = åFX /
N

Where:`X = Weighted Mean, å = Summation, F =
Frequency, X = Nominal Value of Options and N = Number of Respondents. Nominal
values were assigned to six scaling items as follows:

Strongly Agree (SA) = 5, Agree (A) = 4, Undecided (UD) = 3, Disagree
(D) = 2, Strongly Disagree (SD) = 1 and Void (unfilled options) = 0. The Mean
of each cluster was also calculated using the formula below:

`X = åX / N

Where: `X = Cluster Mean, å =
Summation, X = Nominal Value of Mean of Each Option in a Cluster and N = Number
of Cluster. The decision rule of acceptability was weighted means of 3.5 and
above while those below 3.5 were rejected.

 

RESULTS, ANALYSIS AND
DISCUSSION

Research Question
One: What are the economic potentials of environmental waste management?

Table 1: Respondents’
Views on Research Question One

S/N

Description

SA

A

UD

D

SD

VOID

MEAN

REMARKS

1.

Fertilizer for
agricultural purpose

64

35

1

0

0

0

4.63

Accept

2.

Creation of
employment opportunities

57

35

1

0

7

0

4.35

Accept

3.

Enhanced revenue
generation

43

49

1

7

0

0

4.28

Accept

4.

Improved healthy
living

43

42

8

0

7

0

4.14

Accept

5.

Encouragement to
knowledge based economy

15

42

22

0

0

21

3.92

Accept

6.

Environmental
cleanliness

36

35

15

14

0

0

3.93

Accept

7.

Relaxed mind-set

8

70

15

7

0

0

3.79

Accept

8.

Character
reorientation

8

49

22

14

7

0

3.37

Reject

9.

Responsible
citizens who are conscious of sustainable national development

29

56

8

7

0

0

4.07

Accept

10.

Good political will
from the electorates

1

56

29

14

0

0

3.44

Reject

11.

Reduction in crime
rate

15

49

29

7

0

0

3.72

Accept

12.

Enhanced public
image

36

42

8

0

0

14

4.33

Accept

13.

Tourist attraction

8

56

8

21

0

7

3.55

Accept

14.

Improvement on
electric power generation

15

56

22

7

0

0

3.79

Accept

15.

Improvement in
international relations

8

35

50

7

0

0

3.44

Reject

 

Grand Mean 

 3.92

 

From analysis of Table 1 above, the respondents accepted items
1 – 7 and 9, 11 – 14 as economic potentials of environmental waste management. This
is because these values met the cut-off point of 3.5. The respondents rejected items
8, 10 and 15 as economic potentials of environmental waste management. These
items scored mean values of 3.36 and 3.43 respectively. These values are below
the cut-off point

 

Research Question
Two: What is the extent of relationship between entrepreneurial approach to
management of environmental wastes and sustainable national development in
Nigeria?

Table 2: Respondents’
Views on Research Question Two

OPTIONS

To a great extent

43

To a considerable extent

15

To a moderate extent

28

To a fair extent

7

Not at all

7

Void

0

Mean

3.80

Remarks

Accept

 

With a mean of 3.80 being scored in Research Question Two,
the respondents accepted that the extent of relationship between
entrepreneurial approach to management of environmental wastes and sustainable
national development in Nigeria is great and considerable.

 

When something is great, it is worthy of being harnessed.
With a grand mean of 3.92 which is above the cut-off point, it is very clear
that the respondents have generally accepted that there are economic benefits
in the management of environmental waste in Nigeria. More so, the relationship
between entrepreneurial approach to management of environmental wastes and
sustainable national development in Nigeria is to a great extent. Once these
potentials are properly harnessed, the recessed economy will be overturned.
Sustainable national development will be achieved. These positions corroborate that
of UNEP (2013) which stated effective waste management could provide robust
economy. Providing robust economy will create room for entrepreneurial approach
to management of environmental wastes for sustainable national development in
Nigeria. This is in line with the views of Professor Anyanwu in Ayobolu (2015)
and Dangote (2016) where they stated that entrepreneurship is a catalytic tool
for fostering economic growth and development in Nigeria.

 

CONCLUSION

The study has clearly justified that
entrepreneurial approach to management of environmental wastes for sustainable
national development in Nigeria is needful. As good citizens of Nigeria continue
to expect technological growth, increased urbanization, private sector
controlled economy and environmental awareness, management of environmental
wastes should not be ignored. More so, meeting these expectations will
definitely lead to increased waste yield and more public demand for
environmental protection and waste management services.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

Based on the findings that justify the use entrepreneurial
approach to management of environmental wastes for sustainable national
development in Nigeria, the following recommendations are made:

1.                 
Privatization of environmental waste management
in Nigeria

2.                 
Easy access to credit facilities at affordable
rate so as encourage entrepreneurs

3.                 
Strong legal protection to the expected
privatized waste managers

4.                 
Proper regulatory framework to protect Nigerians
against profiteering

5.                 
Provision of adequate hygienic waste disposal
sites

 

REFERENCES

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Ahmed,
A. (2011). Urbanisation and the challenges of development. Journal of
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S. (2015). Entrepreneurship and national development. Retrieved 15th
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Center for
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https://ag.umass.edu/fact-sheets/waste-management-composting

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M. (2014). What is entrepreneurship approach? Retrieved 15th October,
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Death, protests in the windy city

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