By Kingsley Alu, Abuja
0The vehicle emission testing centre of the National Automotive Design And Development Council (NADDC) would be commissioned before the end of this year.
Director-general of the agency, Jelani Aliyu, who dropped this hint on the sideline of a workshop on strategy for adopting ECOWAS standards on fuel and emission in Nigeria being supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said the centre situated in Ikorodu, Lagos is focused on ensuring that those vehicles produced and brought into the country, met minimum emission standards.
“This year we will have it up in operation, together with two other testing centres in Enugu, which is a component testing centre and Zaria,” he said.
Jelani said regrettably, emission testing is not being carried out by most vehicle testing centres across the country showing that the current emissions standards as set by National Environmental Regulatory Standards and Regulations Enforcements Agency (NESREA) in 2011 are not being implemented.
He noted that in 2016, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) funded a study on clean fuels roadmap for Nigeria via refinery upgrade options.Since then, he continued, Nigeria has taken a major step at improving its air quality with focus on lowering the Sulphur concentration in its fuels particularly diesel which is responsible for particulate matter emissions.
“Many countries in West Africa have already adopted the standards and Nigeria should not be left behind,” he stated.
He described the workshop as a defining moment for stakeholders to agree to adopt these standards for the benefit of the country.
Jelani said going forward, more emission testing centres across the country are needed and the only way is through government partnership with the private sector.
“And also look at other technology such as the electric vehicles. As you know just about two weeks ago, the minister unveiled the first assembled Nigerian electric vehicle, Hyundai Kona. And so it is a journey that has been started. Nigeria is a signatory to the 2016 Paris Accord that says we must mitigate the emission of auto vehicles. And so we are committed to that,” he added.
Former director-general of the NADDC, Aminu Jalal, said the country already has standards but what is left is their implementation.
He said the Sulfur emitted is dangerous to health.
“We are having this conference to reduce the Sulphur for our own health and secondly so that we can be able to have cleaner cars. The second aspect while other countries are talking about electric cars is carbon. Electric vehicles are essentially to reduce the carbon that is emitted from vehicles that come out as carbon dioxide and go into the air to cause global warming.In Nigeria we already have standards what Is left is the implementation and that is why we are having this conference,”he said.
Permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs , Amb Anthonia Ekpa, said the fallout of the meeting is that the country would now have a unified content that would be applicable to every Nigerian and the ECOWAS sub region.
She said the meeting is now for stakeholders to use the standards that have been adopted in the sub region.
“The standard was developed together by international experts, specifically the meeting in Abidjan and Accra and Nairobi driven by the UNEP and the National Automotive Design and Development Council,” she said, adding that this would now help Nigeria to have a unified standard.