Nigeria needs law to reduce air pollution – Aminu-Kano


The Director -General, Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Dr. Muhtari Aminu-Kano says Nigeria needs stringent anti-pollution laws to curb the release and spread of dangerous pollutants into the air.



According to Aminu-Kano, more polluted air is being released in the country due to the lack of a proper recourse to safe agricultural practices, deforestation, fumes from vehicles; heavy reliance on firewood and charcoal for cooking among Nigerian locals, as well as the worrisome power situation in the country that has made generators household items among others.



He stated that as human activities against the environment increased, Nigeria would be at the risk of recording more deaths caused by air pollution if nothing was done to halt the release of the killer gases.



The DG, who spoke at a programme organised by NCF to commemorate this year’s World Environment Day, with the theme, ‘Beat Air Pollution’, said more than 10 per cent of the total deaths in the world were caused by air pollution.



He asked governments at all levels to take punitive measures to cut down on dangerous emissions, which had continued to add to the challenge of climate change in and around the country.



He said, “We can use efficient transport by enforcing a law that will ban vehicles that emit too much carbon monoxide. Such vehicles should not be on the road, thereby people will be forced to consider other options.



“You can create friendly way that people can move, by making it easier for people to ride bicycles in cities like Lagos. You can also make industries to pollute less by coming up with laws to curb air pollution.”



While bemoaning the frequent deaths caused by fumes emitted by generators, he called on the government to fix the power problem in the country so as to stop Nigerians from seeking alternative solution in fossil-powered generators, thereby causing more damages to humans and the environment.



A representative of First City Monument Bank at the event, Mr Deji Olojo, said the Human Expsoure Model chart revealed that the air people breathe in Nigeria remained one of the deadliest in Africa and the fourth deadliest in the world with 150 deaths per every 1000 people.



“That’s not surprising considering our population size, the number of generators in the country and the number of vehicles we have on our roads, all emitting thick black smoke,” he said.



He explained that according to the United Nations, 92 per cent of the global population does not breathe in clean air, adding that the global economy loses $5tn yearly to problems stemming from air pollution.



Olojo commended the NCF for promoting actions and interventions targeted at producing more breathable clean air through the planting of trees and delivering on other environmental conservation initiatives.



“It is no surprise that the cleanest air in Lagos is at the Lekki Conservation Centre,” he added.
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