The Federal Government on Friday, June 7, 2019 reiterated its commitment to implement the Low Sulphur Policy and Ozone-Friendly Refrigeration Policy to mitigate the effects of land and air pollution in the country.
Mrs Ibukun Odusote, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, said this at the commemoration of the 2019 World Environment Day in Abuja.
The global day holds on June 5 annually to create awareness on environmental challenges and ways to address them.
The theme for the year is “Beat Air Pollution’’.
Odusote, who was represented by the Director, Human Resources Management, Mr Daniang Peter, said that the Federal Government is currently midwifing two policies aimed addressing environmental degradation and pollution.
They the “National Policy on Plastic Waste Management” and “National Policy on Air Pollution” and are being established in view of the devastating impact of plastic waste and contaminated air to human health and the ecosystem.
She added that the ministry had established waste recycling projects in various states to enhance pollution and waste management in the country.
“In line with the vision of the present administration, the ministry has over the years worked assiduously to make the environment safe and conducive for productivity.
“This particularly underscores the interventions of the ministry in the areas of pollution and waste management by creating waste recycling projects in various states of the federation.
“In addition, the ministry is aggressively pursuing the Low Sulphur Policy and Ozone Friendly Refrigeration Policy.
“All these efforts are geared toward reversing the adverse effects of both land and air pollution with the resultant effects on the population, the ecosystem and the economy,’’ she said.
Mr Imoh Obioh, the Executive Director, Institute of Physics and Ecology, Abuja, underscored the need for the government to set standards for emission reduction to beat air pollution in the country.
Obioh said that government should set emission reduction standards on five years basis for users of the fossil fuels to follow and create aggressive campaign on the need to comply with those standards.
According to him, this will go a long way in addressing air pollution in the country.
He said that when an emission was released into the atmosphere, it would have effects on the earth, land and water which in turn would be harmful to human health and food production.
The president, Soroptimist International, Asokoro, Dr Victoria Pillah, urged Nigerians to plant trees to assist in preventing air pollution.
Pillah said that trees clean the air and absorb harmful airborne particles and gaseous pollutants, adding that these toxins included nitrogen oxides, ammonia and sulphur dioxide through their leaves, bark and roots.
“This improves the air quality in the microclimate around the trees and contributes to a healthier and cleaner environment overall.
“Trees also soak up the harmful carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.
“In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the same volume of carbon monoxide as produced from a 26,000-mile car journey!
“Aside from cleaning the air for us, trees supply us with fresh oxygen to breathe,’’ she said.
According to her, through the process of photosynthesis, trees can absorb carbon dioxide from our atmosphere and reduce the “greenhouse effect”, creating a less polluted, more sustainable world for our future generations.
“Woodlands have proven to be an invaluable asset when it comes to improving air quality and reducing harmful pollutant levels in the atmosphere.
“This is why we should try our best to ensure that our most valuable woodlands like the rainforests are not being lost to deforestation as it is done with impunity,’’ she said.
Pillah, who described Kigali as the cleanest city in Africa and the third greenest city in the world, said that the city achieved the feat by conscious planting of trees and sustainable nurturing.
By Deji Abdulwahab