In a bid to cut down on emission from generators and vehicles, the federal government has launched the national emissions control programmes, to be implemented under a public private partnership.
The minister of environment, Engr. Mohammed Abdullahi, who spoke yesterday during the official flag off of the programmes; generator emission control programme and the vehicular emission control programme in Abuja, said the programmes will involve annual testing of the generators and vehicles for toxic and greenhouses gases emissions.
He said the implementation of the NGECP would be starting with power generating sets of capacity from 10 kva and above, while for NVECP the lowest limit would be Euro III emission standard as agreed at the ECOWAS regional level.
“It is worthy of mentioning that road transportation in Nigeria with over twelve million (12,000,000) vehicles flying the roads is playing a key role in the socio – economic development of the country. Unfortunately, despite significant advances in fuel efficiency and emission reductions, the transport sector remained one of the major sources of air pollution in Nigeria.
“The demand for electricity in Nigeria is currently increasing more than the supply from the national grid. A significant proportion of this shortfall is met with onsite generating sets (gensets) at consumer locations; some of these gensets operate between 15-18 hours a day (NBS, SMEDAN 2010). The market consists of gensets of varying quality and prices. Unfortunately, these diesel gensets contribute emissions of fine particulate matter (PM), including black carbon, which derives from the incomplete combustion of diesel (as occurs in many diesel gensets).
“The wide range and indiscriminate use of these generators for both domestic and industrial power supply, and the quantum of harmful pollutants such as oxides of nitrogen, Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide, and partially unbent hydrocarbons emitted have contributed greatly to the poor air quality which negatively affects the environment and human health,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) is saddled with the responsibility to enforce all environmental laws, guidelines, policies, standards and regulations in the country; and to prohibit processes and the use of equipment or technology that undermine environmental quality.
The minister, however, explained that on this strategy, the responsibility of NESREA will be to set national emission standards and to develop a reliable national database management system for all emissions data generated from the two programmes (NVECP, and NGECP) in Nigeria.
In his remarks, the director-general of NESREA, Prof. Aliyu Jauro, said emissions generally introduce pollutants into the system and therefore degrade the quality of the air.
“This poor air quality has untoward environmental and human health consequences such as acid rain, global warming, etc and all manner of sicknesses like asthmatic attacks, breathing (respiratory) problems, lung damage, cancer, etc,” he said.