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Air Pollution: Environmentalist calls for enforcement of policies



Mr Gafar Odubote, an environmentalist, has called for enforcement of environmental policies to curb increasing air pollution in the country.

Odubote, a climate-change enthusiast, made this appeal in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday in Lagos.

The expert said the country had no lack in environmental policies but rather in putting them to work in order to address our environmental issues.

“These carbon emissions into the atmosphere happen more like 24 hours, if vehicles are not moving at night then the generators are running till day break.

“We have numerous policies from the Ministry of Environment addressing these air pollution issues but the problem lies in their enforcement.

“Enforcement is the most important; if the government can put in place the right enforcement for these environmental issues especially air pollution then we will be able to address it properly.

“Let us start holding people responsible for emission of carbon footprints into the environment. For example, the commercial vehicle drivers are the major culprit when it comes to these carbon emissions.

“Presently the ministry of environment have started this house-to-house inspection but that does not cut it in addressing the air pollution issues in the country,” he said.

Odubote also called for continuous screening of vehicles for road worthiness as well as sanctioning of defaulters where necessary.

“Most vehicles in Nigeria go for a road worthiness test probably once and after then no one is even concerned on about the gases they emit, hence the continuous air pollution for cars on our roads.

“Presently in developed countries, they tax vehicles on carbon emission to ensure a safer environment. The carbon tax is based on your emission of carbon into the atmosphere.

“So if our government agencies in charge of road worthiness will not embark on follow up inspection vehicles after issuing the certificates, then this air pollution from vehicular fumes will continue.

“The government in the news couple of weeks ago promised to embark on total vehicles inspection to address this air pollution, but so far it has just been on paper and not in practice.

“Apart from vehicular fumes, the fumes from generators also pollute the environment; generators both for household and industrial use are pushing excessive carbon into the atmosphere.

“The government should also screen cars thoroughly at the point of registration, also at every point of renewal of the car’s documents they should also be an intensive screening for carbon emission.

“If government agencies can impound or seize a vehicle for parking at the wrong places, why can they not sanction vehicles with excessive carbon emissions?” Odubote asked.

The expert also called for control in the importation of cars with excess carbon fumes into the country and the monitoring of petroleum produce.

“Most people are not sensitive to the carbon we emit into the air because they do not know the impact it has on our environment.

“Even before your vehicle starts emitting fumes into the atmosphere, there is a sensor in the car that warns you ahead but most people are oblivious to it.

“Some of the vehicles being imported into the country have exceeded their carbon limit test, but we do not care, we import them and buy it anyway.

“For the government to correct this anomaly, we must stop the importation of vehicles that have exceeded their carbon limits into the country.

“The government should also monitor the quality of fuel and other petroleum resources being supplied to motorists. We should ensure they are not adulterated or they can cause increased carbon emission.

“If these parameters are not checked, the carbon footprints in our environment will keep increasing on a daily basis,” the expert warned.

Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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