Time to stop this nuclear nonsense

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

Shortly before we embarked on a tour of a recycling plant in the outskirts of Berlin in 2004, my good friend, Hans-Juergen, wanted to know how Nigerians got rid of old vehicles. I understood what he was getting at. At the time, Germany was ‘exporting’ about a million used vehicles each year. Yet, it wasn’t getting rid of them fast enough. The country’s stringent vehicular laws, which provide that the cost of recycling vehicles should be borne by motorists, had created a situation where some motorists couldn‘t afford to get rid of their unsaleable old cars. Rather than pay for recycling as the laws stipulate, some Germans sandpapered their vehicles‘ identification numbers and abandoned them. Others simply set them on fire.

“We have a very thriving, but informal, recycling industry at a place called Owode Onirin in Lagos,” I said, and added that Tokunbo was the name we call ‘newly- arrived secondhand cars’ and Babatunde was the description of choice for ‘thirdhand’ ones. “Otherwise, we either let our unwanted vehicles be, or turn them into chicken coops.”

Hans-Juergen’s response was a question that got me thinking. : “You don’t? Don‘t you know that our problems of today are your problems of tomorrow?”



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