Nigeria Tackles Plastic Wastes, Air Pollution-Odusote
The Federal Government is currently midwifing the ‘National Policies of Plastic Wastes Management and Air Pollution’, in view of the devastating impact of plastic waste and contaminated air to human health and the ecosystem.
This was disclosed by Mrs. Ibokun Odusote, Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Environmet on the occasion of the “2019 World Environment Day” (WED), which her Ministry commemorated at the National Press Centre, Radio House, in Abuja.
She further disclosed that the Federal Ministry Of Environment is also aggressively pursuing the Low Sulphur Policy and Ozone-Friendly Refrigeration Policy which, according to her, are geared towards reversing the adverse effects of both land and air pollution with the resultant effects on the population, the ecosystem and the economy.
The Permanent Secretary explained that in line with the vision of the present administration, the Ministry has over the years worked assiduously to make Nigeria’s environment safe and conducive for productivity.
She noted that the strategic policy-actions underscore the interventions of the Ministry in the arears of pollution and waste recycling projects in various states of federation.
“The ratification of the Kigali Amendment to phase down Hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs) under the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the Ozone layer and ratification of Minimata Convention on mercury in 2018, are major achievements the Federal Government (FG) through the Ministry, has recorded on issues concerning air pollution.
“Also, Mr. President has since signed and ratified the Paris Club Agreement, while the clean-up exercise of Ogoni land has also been flagged-off,” Mrs. Odusote said.
The Permanent Secretary, who was represented by Mr. Daniang Peter, Director of Human Resources Management in the ministry, noted that an estimated 7 million people worldwide die due directly or indirectly to poor air quality.
She said: “It is estimated that 92% of the world population breathe unclean air and this has cost the global economy a whooping USD 3.5 trillion on yearly basis. Most worrisome is the issue of ozone-layer depletion, that has over the years, gradually exacerbated the ever increasing world temperature with the resultant effects on agriculture, human health, and biodiversity in general.”
Mrs. Odusote asserted that the theme for this year’s WED, which is “Beat Air Pollution”, could have come at a better time than now, especially in view of the threat posed by air pollution worldwide, especially in cities of the world where industries keep growing, releasing dangerous gasses and pollutants into the air with effective and commensurate efforts at mitigating this negative trend.
According to her, there is need to double efforts at community, corporate and policy levels if the world would still be habitable for a longer while, and be protected from ‘irredeemable’ degradation by air pollution.
In an address of welcome, Dr. Bolatito Obisesan, the Director Planning Research and Statistics in the Ministry, explained that the World Health Organization (WHO) had listed Onistsha, Aba, Kaduna, and Umuahia, and Nigeria in general, as a country with several worst polluted towns in Africa.
She said the biggest changes and effects Nigerians and all humans can experience from air pollution are not real damage to the environment, but also bad changes in the quality of life and severe issues to human health.
“It is therefore very important for healthy and sustainable living that the preventive measures and sustainable solutions are enforced to ensure safe environment for the population to live,” Dr. Obisesan advised. (END)
Saghir el Mohammed
Federal Ministry of Environment