The director-general of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Dr. Ngeri Benebo, has stated that the December 31 deadline given for the ban of 2-stroke engines still stands despite calls for extension.
Benebo said that, after the initial ban on April 28, Motorcycle Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) approached NESREA for an extension which was fixed at December 31, 2011, but the agency, she said, was taken aback by MOMAN’s call for it to be extended to April 30, 2012.
At a press briefing to explain government’s stand in Abuja yesterday, Benebo said that “government is committed to ensuring that Nigeria does not become a dumping ground for equipment that undermine environmental quality”.
She said, “Recognising the adverse effects of 2-stroke engines on human health and the environment, and the need to safeguard the environment and human health, the agency has commenced the implementation of the Vehicular Emissions Control Regulations with respect to the ban on 2-stroke engines which took effect from April 28, 2011.
“It is worth noting here that some developing countries have since banned the importation of 2-stroke engines and they are China, India etc.
Nigeria should not be left out of this pursuit. We are not extending the deadline and it is not acceptable. The effective date for the ban on 2-stroke engines still remains December 31, 2011”.
She explained that the 2-stroke engines emit significant amounts of particulate matter, un-burnt hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide called greenhouse gases, into the environment, and added that it has adverse effect on human health, causing respiratory problem and cancer.
Benebo, however, said they were working with other regulatory agencies to ensure that the deadline was enforced, adding that any vessel that brings in the banned items after the deadline would be returned.
But Nigerians across the country have kicked against the move, saying that it would add to their economic woes.
A commercial motorcyclist in Enugu, Mr Eneje Obi, told our correspondent that the proposed plan by the government might force many people to embrace crime.
“ The government should build industries for us before they talk of banning okada because it is our only hope of survival in life. We have oil , we are not supposed to be suffering,” he said
The state chairman of the NLC in Taraba State, Mr. Jonah Kataps, described the plan by the federal government to scrap commercial motor cycles as a policy that could bring about another revolution in Nigeria if it is implemented without minding the welfare of the unemployed.
The ban on Okada could be disastrous to the country in view of the growing number of the unemployed.
Cases of stealing, robbery and other social vices and criminality will definitely increase and the country could suffer for it.