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80% of air quality in Africa is bad – UNEP

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has urged African governments to intensify efforts towards adoption of cleaner energy sources, noting that 80 per cent of air quality in the continent was bad.

vehicular pollution
Vehicular pollution

Mrs Jane Akumu, Programme Manager, Air Quality and Mobility Unit, UNEP, made the disclosure on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 while speaking at the ongoing Virtual Oil Trading and Logistics (OTL) Africa Downstream Expo 2020.

Akumu commended the African Union (AU) for the initiative to promote an Africa-wide fuel standard of 50 Parts Per Million (PPM).

She said: “As at Quarter 3, 2020, only 15 of 54 countries in Africa have adopted 50PPM specification for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

“African refineries have until the end of 2024 to conform with the 50PPM fuel specification for fuels on the continent.

“Eighty per cent of air quality in Africa is bad. Therefore, in the long run, cleaner fuels are actually cheaper and cost effective.”

Also, Dr Mohammad Adam, Minister of Energy, Ghana, said the three Ghanaian refineries had been granted waivers until 2023 to invest in desulphurisation units.

He said the country had reduced sulphur for diesel from 3,000PPM to 50PPM and 1,000PPM to 50PPM for petrol since 2017.

On his part, Sir Billy Okoye, Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said the Federal Government was committed to cleaner and cheaper energy sources for the country.

Okoye said: “Nigeria recognises the impact of energy transition and is investing in alternatives and developing supportive policies, approving Liquefied Natural Gas projects and local financing for cleaner energy options.

“Nigeria is taking the ‘Gasification’ strategy route to deal with the issue of cleaner fuels.”

He, however, warned the public against entertaining crude oil marketing bids from any entity outside the NNPC, describing such action as fraudulent.

By Solomon Asowata

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