By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Environment, Mrs Ibukun Odusote, said by estimation 92% of the world population breathe unclean air and this has cost global economy a whooping $ 3.5 trillion on yearly basis .
Odusote who was represented by the Director Human Resources ,Daniang Peter , made the disclosure recently during the commemoration of World Environment Day (WED) with the theme for 2019; saying
it is frightening to know that on yearly basis, over 7 million people worldwide die untimely due to direct and indirect poor air quality.
She said the theme for the year’s WED could not afford to come at a later time than this in view of the threat posed by pollution worldwide especiotly 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 growing negative trend.
There is therefore the need to double efforts at community, While adding that most worrisome issues is that of the ozone layers 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.”There is therefore the need to double efforts at community, corporate and po|icy levels if the world would still be habitable for a longer while”, Odusote said
The Perm Sec said the Ministry in the areas of pollution and waste management has created waste recycling projects in various states of the Federation. In addition the Ministry is presentty aggressively pursuing the Low Sulphur Policy and Ozone Friendly Refrigeration Policy. All this efforts 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.
She the ministry has some notable achievements to address issues of air pollution which are ratification of Minimata Convention on mercury in 2018, flag-off of clean-up of ogoniland and the ministry is also currently midwifing the National Policies plastic
Similarly,the Director Planning Research and Statistics, Dr.Bolatito Obisesan said, the World Health Organization (WHO),mentioned that Nigeria as a country has several worst polluted towns in Africa,such as Onistsha Aba, Kaduna: and Umuahia,there are garbage, smog, loud traffic and severe pollution.
Dr.Obisesan explained that, air pollution is an acute problem in developing countries especially in cities.
“In Nigeria the sources include vehicle Exhaust aggravated by the rising car population, industrial emission especially from Petrochemical industries and cement manufacture, use of gasoline generations as a result of unstable power supply, use of fuel wood for domestic use and energy for small industries”,.
She emphasised that control measures have not been very effective and fully enforced. We need to have sustainable solutions such as vehicle inspection enforcement of legislations, effective refuse collection and evacuation and steady supply of electricity to stop use of gasoline generators to ensure safe environment for the population to live.
The Director maintained that air pollution is a problem that is directly related to the number of people living in an area and the kinds of activities they engage in.”In a place where population is low their energy usage is low,the impact of people in creating pollution is minimal .it is clear that where the pollution is high,the area urbanized and industrial with high energy usage ,large quantities of pollutants are released into the environment .”
She also noted that it is very obvious that the more sophisticated BN a society is, the more intricate and poignant it’s pollution.
“ It is therefore very important for healthy and sustainable living that the preventive measures and sustainable solutions are enforced to ensure safe environment for population to live.The world is moving ahead and Nigeria cannot be left behind I call on all stakeholders to join their efforts with the ministry so that we can “beat air pollution”;Dr.Obisesan said .