Stakeholders denounce activities promoting environmental damage

Doctor Halilu Shaba

The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), government agencies and stakeholders have spoken out against human activities that contribute to environmental degradation, particularly poor air quality across the country.

They condemned the act on Friday at the end of the international conference organized by the Center for Atmospheric Research, a center of activities of NASRDA, in collaboration with Osun State University and Penn State University, in the United States.

The conference, which lasted from Monday to Friday, focused on COVID-19, air quality and the environment, with the theme “Tackling pollution: a silent threat to our existence”.

Atmospheric Research Center director Babatunde Rabiu said the center over the past few years has positioned air quality sensors in different locations across the country.

Mr Rabiu said the sensors should primarily help air quality research that should improve a livable environment for humans.

The director said the center has several air monitors across the country.

“We have nine clarity devices and 27 Purple Air sensors connected to us in addition to those connected to other people across the country,” he said.

The Provost, College of Science and Engineering, Osun State University, Israel Oyewole, drew the attention of agencies and government to air pollution, as well as the need to address issues related to bush burning.

Mr. Oyewole called for better regulation of industrial activities, as well as emissions into the environment.

“If we don’t control pollution, we are in a dangerous situation that will affect us,” he said.

Osun National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) coordinator Chukwunweizu Maike said the agency has up to 34 regulations.

Maike said the regulations include regulations on air pollution, vehicle emissions, ozone layer, surface and ground water pollution, among others.

He further said that the state agency provides compliance, facility monitoring, mining, base metal facilities, and remediation activities.

“We hold mediation meetings to resolve community crises and currently we have a mining issue which almost led to the cancellation of the annual Osun Osogbo festival in August.

“Mining in Osun was increasing and we are currently investigating ground and surface water pollution, especially where we have the Ilesha and Ile-Ife axis mining companies.

“Once we have completed the investigation, some of these businesses may be sealed or will receive the appropriate penalty,” Maike said.

Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMET) Deputy Director General Olumide Olaniyan said the agency is proposing to establish more stations across the country to further monitor air quality.

Ms. Olaniyan said the continuous pollution of the environment causes climate change, while it affects human health.

She recalled that according to the World Meteorological Organization, Nigeria was ranked among the most polluted countries in Africa.

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