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Air pollution: Thousands Nigerians’ health are still at risk, FG warns

THE Federal Government, on Monday warned Nigerians to be mindful of their environments, as high levels of mortality were being recorded as a result of the inhalation of noxious and toxic emissions from stationary and mobile sources of air pollution.

It said that thousands of Nigerians were dying prematurely every year because of poor air quality, lamenting that thousands Nigerians’ health were still at risk, hence, the reason to nip it in the bud.

Minister of Environment, Hajia Amina Mohammed, made this known in her keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 10th National Stakeholders’ Forum organised by the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), held at NICON Luxury
Hotel, Abuja.

According to her, there are increasing risks of stroke, heart diseases, lung cancer, acute and chronic respiratory diseases, including asthma and many other health problems.

“There have also been several cases of road accidents caused by reduced visibility due to emissions from automobiles. Air pollution is also contributing significantly to global warming and climate change. We must work assiduously to protect our environment and our people from air pollution.

“Improving air quality in our country is a collective responsibility, involving all sector players at federal and state levels, including the government, private sector, civil society, faith-based
organisation, trade unions, the academia, the professional associations, as well as media and the citizenry,” he enlightened.

She, therefore, called for capacity building for national monitoring of emissions from both stationary and mobile sources, including the development and management of national emission inventories for the major air pollutants and greenhouse gasses.

In his welcome address, the Director-General/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the agency, Dr Lawrence Anukam, optimistic that this year’s forum would bring a sensitised public on the environmental and human health implications of air pollution and awareness on the extant
environmental laws and regulations relating to air quality.

Others, according to him, are compendium of best available environmental practices for the control of air pollution from stationary and mobile sources, a political will and shared vision for implementation of air quality control programmes in Nigeria.