By Funmi Olasupo
ABUJA – The Federal Government has began the review of the Draft Reviewed National Environmental (Ozone Layer Protection) Regulations 2009 as part of efforts towards the universal protection of the Ozone layer in Nigeria.
Ozone layer is a protective blanket in stratosphere that protects us from harmful radiation from the Sun particularly the Ultraviolet (UV) rays which are electromagnetic radiations.
The Director General, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Dr. Lawrence Anukam said the need for safe disposal of Ozone Depleting Substance (ODS) in Nigeria is crucial, considering the severe environmental and health problems associated with them.
Anukam, who stated this at the Workshop on “Expert Critique Meeting on Draft Review National Environmental (Ozone layer protection) Regulations 2009 for the Federal Republic of Nigeria” in Abuja,, the idea of undertaking the program and its significance to Nigerian economy cannot be over emphasised.
He said, “This administration is fully committed to the ideas of good governance and the goal of environmental sustainability aimed at providing the people with a healthy environment upon which the natural ecology of the country can develop and be sustained.
“Globally, the adverse effects of the ODS have increasingly become an important issue. This is as a result of the several pollutants which attack the ozone layer creating a hole, chief among them is the class of chemicals (ODS) known as Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), used as refrigerants (notably in air conditioners), as agents in several manufacturing processes, and as propellants in spray cans. These substances are thus controlled under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the Ozone Layer.”
Speaking to journalists at the workshop, the UNIDO Country Representative and Regional Director for ECOWAS, Dr. Chuma Ezedimma said man’s quest for industrialization has seen the development and production of chemicals that depletes the Ozone Layers.
“Mans quest for industrialization has seen the development and production of chemicals that depletes the ozone layers and exposure to UV rays as a result of the ozone layer depletion can cause severe harmful effects to man and the environment.
“Nations are evolving with measures to protect their environment, it is therefore important and mandatory for Nigeria to reflect in its laws, disposal of ODS waste and it is also important for the country to begin the adoption and implementation of the extended producer responsibility initiative which ensures that manufactures are responsible for the entire life circle of their products.
“This should also apply to refrigeration, air conditioners and installation products and this will contribute immensely to materials and energy conservation and eventually the sustainability of the environment,” he stated.