From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
By January 1, 2023, Federal Government will ban all substances that are not ozone-friendly in accordance with the Montreal Protocol Agreement of which Nigeria is a signatory.
These substances include refrigerators, air conditioners, generators, water dispensers, photocopiers etc.
Speaking with newsmen at the Stakeholders’ Workshop for the Validation of the Draft National Cooling Plan, yesterday, in Abuja, the Programme Manager, Environment Unit of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Mr Oladipo Supo, said that Nigeria has delayed in implementing the agreement because it has not been able to get alternatives for the substances that are ozone-friendly.
“Under the Montreal Protocol Agreement, the idea is that some of these ozone-depleting substances are actually eliminated from use. We started with HCFCs and now we will replace with HFCs which is where we are today.
“Nigeria has committed itself because it is part of the signatory. We are looking at January 1, 2023 when some of these substances will not be allowed into the country anymore. Before that time what the Federal Ministry of Environment is trying to do is to make sure that the alternatives are available because you cannot ban something when you don’t have alternatives
“In the refrigerating sector, we only have technicians. The people that actually use them are technicians on the street. You remember, sometime ago, some air conditioners (ACs) blew up in Ogun State. It was because of all these contaminated things and recycled ACs that are not supposed to be in circulation,” he said.
In his keynote address, the Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, blamed some developing countries who use refrigerants with high ozone-depleting potential such as hydrochlorofluorocarbons.
According to him, emissions are projected to amount to approximately 8.97 giga tons carbon dioxide equivalent by 2050 and contributing to global warming and climate change.
The minister represented by the Director, Pollution Control of the ministry, Mr Charles Ikedie, said that the emissions are both direct and indirect.
“Direct emissions are refrigerants-related emissions from refrigeration and air conditioning equipment during installation, maintenance, repair and servicing. Indirect emissions are energy consumption of appliances-related emissions due to huge electricity consumption of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment”, he said.