By Udora Orizu in Abuja
The federal government has revealed its plan to phase out 65 per cent of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons by the year 2023.
Speaking at the 2018 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer and launching of the publication on the implementation of Montreal protocol’s ODS phase out programme in Abuja Thursday, the Minister of State, Ministry of Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jibril, said the ministry is currently implementing hydrochlorofluorocarbon phase out management plan known as HPMP which is intended to lead to the complete phase out of hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFCs) by 2040.
According to Jibril, “The stage two of the project was approved this year by the executive committee of the multilateral fund for the implementation of the Montreal protocol during its 81st meeting in Montreal Canada. The stage two will run for five years with target to phase out 65 per cent of HCFCs usage.”
He revealed that in addition to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) as implementing agencies, the government of Italy has also offered to support the project under a bilateral agreement.
He noted that in the implementation of stage two of the HPMP, focus is going on development of standards and of practice including certification of relevant facilities and installation that handle or use hydrocarbons, adding that it will facilitate the promotion of the use of low global warming potential technologies in the Nigerian economy, encourage the inclusion of NGOs and strengthen collaboration with the government.
On his part, the Country Representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Wondimagegnehu Alemu, represented by the National Consultant, Public Health and Environment Edwin Edeh in his address, said: “If we must constantly enjoy our existence on the earth surface, then we must take proactive steps to phase out the use of air conditioning systems, fire protection systems, refrigerators aerosol products and other equipment that contain or rely on the Ozone Depleting Substances (ODP) including Chlorofluorocarbons (CFS) and others for their processes.
“It is time to encourage relevant environmental and health enforcement and regulatory institutions in Nigeria to galvanise efforts towards the prevention of illegal or unwanted trade in ozone depleting substances. These substances contribute enormously to global warming as well as climate change.”
He urged governments at all levels, industries, the academia, media, civil society organisations and the general public to take shared commitments to halt the production, promotion and utilisation of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) in all forms, compositions and processes in order to achieve an eco-friendly environment and a healthy population.