About 60 million Nigerians invest N1.6 trillion to buy and maintain standby generators yearly, the Director-General, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Lawrence Anukam, said yesterday.
Speaking during a media briefing in Abuja to announce the implementation of the National Generator Emission Control Programme (NGECP) which is expected to begin in January with Abuja as a pilot study, Anukam said the aim of the programme is to control the emission originating from generating sets used in the country.
According to him, the target is to see that Nigerians use functional, non polluting generating set as alternative source of energy.
He said: “Recent statistics from the Centre for Management Development revealed that an estimated 60 million Nigerians invest about N1.6 trillion to purchase and maintain standby generators annually.
“The National Generator Emission Control Programme (NGECP) is a strategy aimed at cutting down emission of pollutants from generators. The programme is being implemented under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) and will involve periodic testing of generators for toxic emissions.”
Anukam said air pollution, emanating from either vehicular or generating sets, remained a major challenge in the country.
He explained that the United Nations (UN), World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international agencies had long identified urban air pollutions as one of the critical public health problems.
Anukam said: “Many cities around the world, particularly in developing countries like Nigeria, are experiencing rapid growth. Yet, in the absence of adequate environmental policy and action, this growth is occurring at considerable, and often increasing, economic and social costs.
“The increase in population and economic development has escalated the proliferations of industries, use of motor vehicles and use of generators as alternative energy sources has led to the prevalent worldwide air pollutions situation which poses a serious environmental threat globally.
“Atmospheric pollution is gradually becoming a serious menace in Nigerian cities, especially in the metropolitan areas, where the use of power generating sets has become an alternative to power supply.”