By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The federal government has warned that the pervasive air pollution problem in Port Harcourt and its environs could have serious direct and indirect implications on other parts of Nigeria if not curtailed.
It also lamented that the growing incidence of soot pollution has led to the growing cases of respiratory disease, eye problems and other ailments.
The Deputy Director of Information, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Mr. Oyofo Sule, in a statement issuedÂ on WednesdayÂ said the Minister of State for Environment Ibrahim Jibril gave the warning last week at a one-day stakeholder meeting held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
He said that the problem has been a source of worry to residents and has raised serious social, economic, health and environmental concern; and the complaints associated with its settling on roof tops, floors, offices and vehicles.
The minister noted that the meeting was aimed at finding a lasting solution to the pervasive air pollution problem in Port Harcourt and environs.
He informed participants that the outcome of the meeting would greatly assist the federal government in charting a new course to bring a lasting solution to the menace.
Jibril said: “This is a good opportunity for us to deliberate collectively and find a lasting solution to this issue. We have come here to act now. The outcome of this meeting will not only assist to address the problem in Port Harcourt and its environs but also other parts of the country.
“There is an urgent need to further intensify actions to address this problem. This is precisely why we have gathered here today.
“The meeting is a clear evidence of the commitment of the federal government and its capability to discharge its duties and functions towards protecting lives and properties of the people in Port Harcourt and its environs.”
Also, the Director-General of NESREA, Dr. Lawrence Â Anukam, said the meeting was carefully structured to elicit concrete recommendations with forward looking programmes and activities that would address the problem.
He assured the participants that NESREA would continue to collaborate and partner with key stakeholders at the federal and state levels in the quest to solve the air pollution problem in Port Harcourt and environs.