The Lagos State Government says it will intensify efforts at sensitising and monitoring activities of technicians and related associations in the cooling sectors.
The Permanent Secretary, Office of the Environmental Services (OES), Mrs Belinda Odeneye said this on Thursday, at a webinar session with the theme: ”Montreal Protocol; Keeping Us, Our Food and Vaccines Cool”.
The session was organised by the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) to celebrate the year 2021 International Ozone Day.
Odeneye said that the sensitisation and monitoring of technicians’ activities would ensure the phasing out of ozone depleting substances.
She said that the continuous phasing out of ODS had drastically helped in the healing of the ozone layer and in boosting energy efficiency in the cooling sector.
The permanent secretary said that the Montreal Protocol, which was the theme for this year’s celebration, started as a global agreement and had succesfully helped in the healing of the Ozone layer.
According to her, this in turn protects human health and ecosystems by limiting the harmful ultraviolet from reaching the Earth.
”The Montreal Protocol started as a global agreement to protect the ozone layer, a job it has done well, making it one of the most successful environmental agreements to date.
”A united global effort to phase out ozone-depleting substances means that today, the hole in the ozone layer is healing and in turn protecting human health, economies and ecosystems.
”But, as this year’s World Ozone Day seeks to highlight, the Montreal Protocol does so much more – such as slowing climate change and helping to boost energy efficiency in the cooling sector, which contributes to food security,” she said.
In her remark, the General Manager of LASEPA, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, said that the government was keen at ensuring gradual phasing out of ODS, especially those used in the manufacturing of refrigerants.
Fasawe said that the cooling sector was important as keeping the environment, food and medicine cool.
She also said the benefits of cooling sector include health and well being in the built environment, workforce productivity, reduced food loss and food waste, among others.
The General Manager said that the agency would work with relevant stakeholders to embark on an aggresive awareness campaign to various refrigeration and air conditioning markets within the state to educate on the need to continually protect the ozone layer.
”In ensuring the implementation of the Montreal Protocol, there is need for cooperation among relevant stakeholders to ensure that banned refrigerants and other ODS are not imported into the country,” she said.
In his paper presentation, a Senior Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, University Ibadan, Dr. Gilbert Adie, said that Montreal protocol had helped to reduce the ozone depletion that would have increased ten-fold by 2050.
Adie said that such increase would have resulted to millions of additional cases of cancers and other dangerous health issues.
He, therefore, advised the cooling sectors to avoid banned ODS and adhere strictly to guidlines and timelines for phasing out and down of refrigerants rich in ODS.
Also speaking, a former Dean, School of Engineering and Engineering Technology, Federal University of Technogy Akure, Prof. Mutalubi Akintunde, said that there was the need to expedite action in reducing the release of ODS.
Akintunde said that this could be done by embarking on a continous training and sensitisation of relevant technicians and practitioners on the need to ensure phasing out of ODS, to make the Earth comfortable to human health and the ecosystem.
Notable personalities including an environmental expert from UNIDO, Mr Oluyomi Banjo; the Chairman of Nigerian Association of Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Practitioners (NARAP), Pastor Gabriel Orenuga; and the Chairman, Lawanson Refrigeration Association, Mr Obinna Obichukwu, delivered goodwill messages.
They reaffirmed commitment to collaborate with the government in educating the public on the continous need to protect the ozone layer from depleting substances.
Highlight of the webinar session was a talk and poem presentations by the students of the Birch Freeman High School and Eko boys High School, who discussed extensively on the Ozone Layer Depletion and the preventive measures to be taken to reduce it. (NAN)