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Life is meaningless when a man fails to have at least a definite purpose to pursue ─Peter Owinje

Sunlight City Foundation is an NGO with definite focus and great determination and responsibilities. One of such responsibilities is to rescue our communities from eating from dustbins. It is an official order from the CEO of Sunlight City Foundation to all our members across the board to play a vital role in rescuing our various communities from feasting on dustbins and we have amazing unity and determination to focus our attention on this worrisome issue or problem.

It is obvious that Nigeria relies greatly on imports. With the high rate of importation of used items into the country, one may be tempted to say that Nigeria has become a dumping ground for some countries for their used items that may have expired.

Another noticeable issue is the rate at which Nigerians embrace these used items. In fact, it is highly worrisome and may cause one to conclude that many Nigerians are actually feasting on dustbins. This is one of our major concerns in Sunlight City Foundation and we are determined to encourage our members to rescue their communities from this mess; great mess indeed.

We import a lot of goods into the country that even include those items we produce or can produce here in the country; for instance, according to former Agricultural Minister, Chief Audu Ogbe, Nigeria spends 18 million dollars in a year to import toothpick. In addition, many used vehicles are imported from Europe, US, etc. into Nigeria for example, over 6,000 vehicles are imported into the country virtually every year and over 85% of them are used vehicles.

More so, in 2018, Nigeria imported used vehicles into the country valued 526 million US dollar which is approximately 161 billion naira. While many Nigerians fail to patronize our own strong and reliable made-in-Nigeria vehicles. We focus more on the mass importation mostly of used items which leads to a mess, instead of focusing on mass production that can lead to exportation, with high foreign exchange earnings to boost the economy and ensure financial freedom for the masses. This is one of the ways to rescue our various communities from feasting on dustbins.

In Sunlight City Foundation, we use any available opportunity to support and encourage our members to go into the production of certain goods because we believe that through local mass production we can supply our needs and wants instead of importing them; and by this we can develop our economy and industries. This will also allow the country to be productive as well as boost the international market.

We should all support the exportation of goods that we can produce well in Nigeria, especially agricultural produce. Although we may not have the resources and skills required to produce certain goods and services now, we should discourage the importation of goods that we can produce here. This is one of the ways we can rescue our communities from feasting on the dustbins of other nations.

Reasons Why Nigerians Feast on Dustbins

As noted earlier, the phrase ‘feasting on dustbins’ in this article refers to the way and manner by which many Nigerians embrace fairly-used items that were discarded or thrown into the dustbin in European countries, as items considered not good enough for use.

It is unfortunate and very sad that the same items that were thrown into the dustbin are the number one choice of many Nigerians. Why? One may be tempted to ask. However, one of the top reasons is that they consider it cheaper than new items. Many Nigerians cannot afford to buy new, quality and latest products; therefore, buying fairly-used items is always an option for them.

Another reason is that many Nigerians are also highly price-sensitive; they prefer to buy imported cheaper products without considering the quality of such products. This explains why we have many inferior goods that are not allowed in European countries, in Nigerian markets because they sell faster in our markets and also provide low-cost items mostly for people living in poverty. So, one may not be wrong to conclude that many Nigerians are feasting on dustbins due to the high rate of poverty.

According to William James, ‘The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude, ’this explains why we also believe in Sunlight City Foundation that we can stop our communities from feasting on dustbins with collective decision, responsibility and the efforts of government and her citizens at large. We need to change our thoughts and attitude from feasting on the dustbins.

It is important to note that any identified problem is a problem that can be solved with determination and courage. We need to stop or reduce the mass importation of certain goods, mostly those goods we can produce in Nigeria.

Dumping of all kinds of used items into the country is highly worrisome to Sunlight City Foundation because we know that this may lead to total collapse of our local industries. Our porous borders are gateways for smugglers to bring in some goods that we produce here such as vegetable oil, clothes, fruit juice, tissue paper, vehicle to mention but a few.

Therefore, Sunlight City Foundation uses this opportunity to encourage our dear citizens and the government to ensure that the country is not a dumping ground for other countries. We must protect our industries and support their growth by patronizing made-in-Nigeria goods. Government must also ensure that the environment is conducive for industries to operate. It is high time we changed our thoughts and our nation for better.

Stakeholders in agricultural products as well as other sectors must be encouraged to develop capacities that can absorb the glut and wastage due to the lack of storage facilities to avoid labour loss and revenue shortfall of farmers.

Processing, manufacturing and industrialization must be encouraged. Exportation of our local content is incredible for our development and sustainability as well as continuous generation of revenue for both the government and private sector.

Also, we must have strong and effective institutions that will fully implement our policies that protect our local industries, such as anti-dumping policy, the proposed Local Patronage Bill (that if passed into law, will compel governments to buy made-in-Nigeria goods), etc. These among others are the ways we can rescue our communities from feasting on dustbins. It is a civic responsibility for all because ‘life is to be enjoyed not endured’ (Gordon-Hickeley).

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