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FG tackles pollution with Air Quality Station

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Nigeria ranks 10th most polluted African country with 44.8% air pollution rate.

To combat the reported 44.8% air pollution rate in Nigeria, which ranks the country as the 10th most polluted in Africa, the federal government commissioned an Air Quality Station. James Sule, the permanent secretary of Nigerian Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation, during his address at the Abuja ceremony, said that the event was crucial in fulfilling the ministry’s mandate for executing the National Action Plan on Short-lived Climate Pollutants (NAP-SLCP), which had been authorised by the Federal Executive Council in July 2019.

According to him, black carbon emissions may be cut by roughly 80%, and methane emissions can be cut by 60% through the 22 particular mitigation initiatives outlined in the National Action Plan on SLCPs. To achieve the Plan’s 13th Abatement measure that falls under the Waste Management theme, the ministry, as reported by Sule, is supplying the necessary technological tool. He stated this is one of two Waste Management projects scheduled to be completed as part of the ministry’s 2022 Capital Projects.

Air Quality invention finds novel approaches to old challenges.

This groundbreaking initiative represents a major step forward in the ministry’s efforts to capitalise on the advantages and potential of eco-friendly technologies that have long existed in Nigeria and across Africa but has only recently been domesticated to account for local needs and customs. While it’s true that air quality systems have been around for a while, AirQo’s invention highlights the resourcefulness of their team in finding novel approaches to old challenges, with a particular focus on international best standards.

The Permanent Secretary, who is the proponent of the innovation, stated that it would also provide the necessary support and leadership that is crucial in the delivery of a highly sophisticated Air Quality System within the ministry. This system would remodel essential prospects for environmental research, fairness in the environment, and environmental Sciences and Technology programming that accommodates the demands and aspirations of the people as a country. Moreover, he stated that invention is the champion of innovation.

Poor air quality led to 11,200 premature deaths in 2018.

Nigeria, as one may be aware, is 10th on the list of the most polluted countries in Africa due to its high rate of air pollution of 44.8 percent, followed by Uganda and Ethiopia. He explained that because Uganda shares their issue with poor air quality, it is in their best interest for this idea to have originated there. He gave credit to the Director of the Ministry’s Department of Environmental Sciences and Technology, Dr Peter Ekweozoh, for spotting the problem and bringing the ministry into alignment with the solution.

On the other hand, he expressed dissatisfaction over the fact that recent estimates indicate that poor air quality in Nigeria was directly responsible for almost 11,200 premature deaths in 2018. According to the report of World Bank, 94% of those who live in Nigeria are exposed to levels of air pollution that are higher than the recommendations set by the WHO, and the harm caused by air pollution accounts for around 1% of the country’s GDP.

Use of firewood and coal contributed to the air pollution crisis.

Nine out of ten persons are exposed to polluted air, which is alarming. Nigeria’s air pollution problem is severe and has been a constant issue in the country’s history; now is the time to confront this awful event head-on. He also noted that the widespread use of firewood and coal for cooking contributed to the country’s air pollution crisis. Similarly, Dr. Ekweozoh, In his speech, cited the health risks posed by air pollution in Nigeria as the motivation for the change.

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