The Ministry of Environment has cautioned against the use of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), commonly known as transformer oils.
Mrs Laurentia Mallam, Minister of Environment made the call at the Awareness Raising Campaign for the Nigeria PCB Management Project, organised in collaboration with the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in Abuja.
Mallam, who was represented by Mr Yomi Ladapo, Director Planning Research and Statistics in the ministry, listed some of the adverse effects of PCBs to humans and the environmental well being.
“It includes cancer, birth defects, dysfunctional immune and reproductive systems, as well as diminished intelligence among children.
She explained that between 1940 and 1980, Nigeria imported “a good deal” of PCB-containing equipment such as transformers, capacitors, paint additives as well as hydraulic fluid additives.
She said:“the consequence of this action has left our country with a considerable quantity of PCBs that must be managed.”
The minister said that Nigeria, being a party to the Stockholm Convention is required to eliminate the use of the product by 2025 and must ensure all contaminated equipment is subject to environmentally sound waste management by 2028.
Mallam also said that raod shows for the sensitisation of the product will commence in Lagos, Port Harcourt,Calabar, Aba, Benin, Warri and Kainji later in the month.
Earlier, Mrs Nana Mede, the Permanent Secretary, who was represented by Alhaji Kashimu Bayero, Director Pollution also in the ministry, said that Project Management Unit is at the peak of achieving its objectives.
She said that some of the activities carried out by the unit are development of a National Policy Framework on PCBs which will be presented by the Federal Executive Council for approval by both the Minister of Environment and Power. (NAN)