By Victor Osehobo Ofure
Benin City, Nigeria – Stakeholders in Edo state, at the International Day for the preservation of the Ozone Layer on Saturday expressed concerns that 30 years after the Montreal Protocol, Nigeria was yet to enact legislation, like many other countries in the world to protect the ozone layer.
Made up of National Association of Refrigeration and air-conditioning Practitioners (NARAP), members and students from various schools had gathered for the occasion to join the rest of the world to celebrate the anniversary of the Protocol, a historic international agreement that has eliminated over 99 percent of ozone layer depleting substances.
Executive Director of Save the Ozone, Nigeria, Pastor Ozaveshe Balogun announced at the event that the world was happy to be moving away from chemical refrigerants like hydro-fluorocarbons, to natural ones, such as Carbon dioxide.
He said this is because as users of the hydro-fluorocarbons, NARAP members must be assisted to
procure the necessary service tools for best practices in accordance with international standards.
“The Refrigeration and air-conditioning Practitioners in Nigeria therefore have a major role to play (and) cannot afford to be left behind as the world moves towards the phasing down of climate warming hydro-fluorocarbons (HFCs) to more friendly environmental alternatives.”
It would be recalled that the United Nations Industrial Organization (UNIDO) recently donated two low
pressure foaming machines to two members of the state chapter of the association.
Balogun then called for partnership between the Federal and state governments and the Save the Ozone Nigeria to upgrade its vehicle of creating awareness about the need to protect the Ozone layer
especially among rural dwellers.
He said that the Earth's ozone layer acts like a shield, absorbing UV radiation from the Sun and providing us with protection from these harmful effects adding that before the Montreal Protocol, ozone-depleting chemicals were commonly used in refrigerators, insulation foams, spray cans, and air conditioners.
Also speaking at the event, Professor Sunday Oriafo who chairs the Save the Ozone Advisory Board said that Hydrofluorocarbons are a family of chemicals widely used as coolants in refrigeration and
air-conditioning equipment. They are powerful greenhouse gases with global-warming potential, he
He added that reducing the use of hydro-fluorocarbons will reduce the harmful effects of climate
change, such as intense rainfall that can contaminate water supplies; severe weather events, such as
thunderstorms and floods that can cause injury; economic hardship; and mental distress.
Edo state Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Mr. Reginald Okuns who was the Guest of Honor at the anniversary celebration urged citizens to align with the state government’s resolve to make Edo the cleanest state in Nigeria.
He said one way to do this was for them to shun the tendency to block drainage channels in their locality with waste while clearing the drains around their dwelling and heeding calls to vacate river banks due to threatening floods from water rising above ground level.
Going by the advice, he continued, of the Nigerian Metrological Agency (NIMET) that riverside
communities would experience severe flooding as rainfall amount increases with the water levels of
major rivers, Nigerians ought to be more climate-conscious.