The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) has urged the Federal Government to enforce National Ozone Layer Regulation to address the release of substances and chemicals that deplete the ozone layer.
The National Coordinator, GEF Small Grant Programme, Mrs Ibironke Olubamise, gave the advice on Thursday in Abuja in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) to commemorate International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.
NAN reports that all member states of the UN including Nigeria are signatories to the Montreal Protocol on the control of substances that deplete the ozone layer.
Olubamise said that the government should take a first step by having the political will to address ozone depleting substances.
According to her, this will lead to the development of policies and strategy to address the challenge.
“This is most important, especially for the developing countries which have become the dumping ground for some of the products that contain ozone depleting substances, which industrialised countries have banned.
“I am aware of a number of government efforts including the development of the National Ozone Regulation and the UNDP/FGN project on Hydrocarbon Phase out Management Plan (HPMP), which involves awareness creation, training and supply of equipment to some manufacturers.
“All these are aimed at total phasing out of Ozone depleting substances from Nigeria by 2040. But the enforcement of regulation is a big issue in Nigeria and this can only be achieved by political will,’’ she said.
Olubamise underscored the need for extensive awareness creation to get the populace to support efforts to address ozone depleting substances.
“Groups, especially Civil Society Organisations can engage in advocacy, creating awareness and working with lawmakers to find solutions.
“Individuals can reduce the use of ozone depleting substances such as fire extinguishers with halogenated hydrocarbon as the main ingredient; highly pressurized aerosol products.
“This contains Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs); and disposal of fridges, freezers and air conditioners produced before 1995.
“People should be checking the components of these products and refusing to purchase those which contain hydro fluorocarbon and other ozone depleting substances will go a long way,’’ she said.
According to him, measure to take to protect the ozone layer is for the world to stop the production and use of all the chemicals which contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer.
“However, the practicality of the solution may not be as easy as said because the issues are interwoven with more livelihood and development issues.
“Many of the chemicals have become part of our lives and we use them to make lives and living better.