Environmental stakeholders have called on the federal government to implement the ‘polluter pays’ principle against factories to reduce air pollution and increase state government revenues .
Stakeholders launched the call at a one-day workshop for environmental correspondents on “A Healthy Environment: A Panacea for Sustainable Livelihoods” in Abuja.
Kogi State Environmental Commissioner, the Hon. Victor Adewale Omofaiye, in a keynote address, called on the federal government to ensure the full implementation of the “polluter pays” principle in factories as a mitigation measure for air pollution.
He said: “The polluter pays principle is a standard mechanism designed to monitor and control the level of air pollution in industries by establishing charges on gaseous pollutants emitted. “
In a goodwill message, National Park Service Curator General Dr Ibrahim Goni called on the federal government to crack down on the illegal importation of vehicles into the country in order to reduce pollution from vehicle exhaustion. opportunity.
He said more regular vehicle inspections should be carried out to ensure vehicle owners regularly maintain their cars and that old vehicles are taken off the roads to reduce emissions of air pollutants.
This is because approximately 12.6 million deaths worldwide were attributable to the environment globally in 2012.
He said: “It is estimated that the air people breathe, the food they eat, the water they drink and the ecosystems that support them are responsible for 23% of all deaths worldwide which are caused by non-communicable diseases resulting from exposure to chemicals, poor air quality, unhealthy lifestyles, conflicts, etc.
He noted that air pollution is the world’s greatest environmental health risk.
“Some 7 million people around the world die each year from daily exposure to poor air quality at home and in the workplace.
“Lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation accounts for 58 percent of diarrheal disease cases in low- and middle-income countries. Inadequate sanitation or poor hygiene results in 3.5 million deaths worldwide, or 25% of deaths in children under 14.
“Some 107,000 people die each year from asbestos exposure and 654,000 died from lead exposure in 2010. High-risk occupations include agriculture, mining and construction, often with a relatively high proportion of children, youth or migrant workers who have significantly higher death rates. and exposure to chemicals and injuries, ”he said.
He added: “Making the environment healthier can prevent around 13 million deaths per year and prevent 13% to 37% of the global disease burden, such as 40% of deaths from malaria, 41% of deaths from infections. lower respiratory tract and 94% of deaths. diarrheal disease.
He further called on the government to improve the power supply to ban the use of generators associated with air pollution and respiratory health hazards in homes and offices.
He said the government must provide citizens with affordable clean and improved energy stoves and other renewable alternative energies such as solar power and wind power to replace the use of biomass fuelwood at the home, which affects the respiratory health of vulnerable groups, mainly women and children.
“All industries in Nigeria must comply with federal government regulations on air quality and political and environmental standards,” he added.
The director general of the National Biosafety Management Agency, Dr Rufus Edegba, said that contrary to beliefs about approved genetically modified maize, Tela maize has no effect on the environment.
He said the application of science and technology was part of the efforts to ensure food security in the country.
For his part, Mr. Paddy Ezeala in his presentation said that Nigeria had lost 37 hectares of its forest land with only four percent of its total forest land.
He therefore called on the government to declare a state of emergency in the parks of the Cross River states.