Participants at a 2019 World Environment Day celebration organised by the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) on Tuesday called for the development of other sources of energy to check air pollution.
They noted that air pollution was majorly caused by man-made activities in household, industry, transport, agriculture and waste, among others.
The theme of the celebration by LASEPA was: “Time to Shift to Renewable Energy’’.
According to the participants, collective responsibility is required to reduce air pollution in our environment, which can be found in alternative sources of energy.
Mr Ayodele Antonio, LASEPA’s General Manager, said that generating sets were being over-used as source of power in Lagos State.
“The emissions from these generating sets are sources of air pollution.
“The combination of activities by overuse of these generating sets could reach harmful concentration both outdoors and indoors, causing air pollution which create problems in our body systems.
“There must be alternatives to these generating sets in renewable energy such as solar energy systems and bio-gas energy, among others,” he said.
Antonio said the effects of air pollution included higher disease risks, global warming, food security and climate change, among others.
According to him, at times when people present health problems like chest pain, dry throat and nausea in hospitals, it often turns out that they have been exposed to the effects of poor air quality.
Antonio said there was need to also balance the environment by planting trees.
He said trees utilise the pollutants for their own living and in return, gave clean air.
Mr Abdullafis Toriola, Director, Vehicle Inspection Services, (VIS), Lagos State Ministry of Transport, said the VIS was working to reduce emissions from vehicles plying Lagos roads to minimum permissible level globally.
“We all know that emission from vehicular movements is the worst air pollutants in Lagos.
“’With close to two million vehicles in Lagos alone, it has become a huge problem.
“However, on our part, we have acquired some technologies to ensure that vehicles plying Lagos roads meet global permissible emission level,” Toriola said.
According to him, it is the responsibility of vehicle owners to ensure their vehicles meet minimum requirement for roadworthiness.
He said the VIS was there to enforce compliance and had procured computerised machine to check the emission level and remove rickety vehicles from the roads.
Mr Segun Adaju, the President, Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN), said the best way to go was to develop solar energy system since the country was blessed with abundant sunlight all year round.
“The use of generating sets, kerosene lantern, and open flame lamps as used by market women in the night are all dangerous to the environment and cause air pollution.
“There are available solutions in solar energy and other sources of renewable energy to replace the generators and make the environment cleaner.
“Companies are developing these sources, especially in the face of erratic power supply to help people do their businesses with ease and reduce air pollution,” he said.
Adaju said that to ease the initial financial burden of setting up the solar energy, companies work with cooperatives and individuals with similar trade to offset the cost through monthly contributions.
Mr Abiodun Bamgboye, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Environment, said it was time for owners of industries in the state to adopt cleaner production processes to reduce air pollution.
Bamgboye, who was represented by Mrs Belinda Odeneye, a Senior Official in the ministry, said that industries had continued to be a major source of environmental pollution and degradation in the state.
“Air pollution may seem complex but we can all do our part to ease it.
“Understanding the different types of pollution and how it affects our health and environment will help us take steps toward improving the air around us
“However, while the state of environment in Lagos has improved significantly, sadly, we cannot ascribe so much of such success to the industrial sector,’’ he said.
Bamgboye said the state government was aware that waste generation in solid, liquid or gaseous form was an inevitable part of production process.
He said that what the government was advocating was a cleaner production in an environmentally-friendly and sustainable manner.
According to him, the government expects the owners of industries across the state to give these a priority.
He said that everybody should join in the current race of atmospheric regeneration to bequeath a clean, decent and sustainable environment to future generation.
Dr Adetokunbo Adedeji, a former LASEPA General Manager, said it was necessary to keep clean the air we are breathing.
“Human activities have continued to cause alterations in what God has bequeathed to us.
“We should also realise that the air is for other living creatures as well and maintaining clean air lies with everyone of us,’’ Adedeji said.
On his part, Mr Patrick Olowokere, Corporate Communications and Brand Public Relations Manager, Nigerian Breweries Plc, said the company was building a roof-mounted solar system in its factory in Ibadan.
“This is a 663.6 kilowatts project with 10 inverters integrated into the infrastructure.
“It is due to be commissioned in November; after that, it will be replicated in our other plants across the country,’’ he said.
Olowokere said the projects would help the company replace its use of fossil fuel, reduce operating cost and emission from the environment.