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Govt working to reduce ozone-depleting substances in Lagos environment

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The Lagos State Government has reiterated its commitment to the continuous phasing out of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) to continually aid the healing of the ozone layer and boost energy efficiency in the cooling sector.

The Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services (OES), Mrs. Belinda Odeneye, stated this at a webinar session organised by the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), with the theme: “Montreal Protocol: Keeping Us, Our Food and Vaccines Cool”, to celebrate the Y2021 International Ozone Day.

Dolapo Fasawe, General Manager, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency

She disclosed that the Montreal protocol started as a global agreement and has successfully helped in the healing of the ozone layer to protect human health and ecosystems by limiting harmful ultraviolet rays from the Sun.

Mrs. Odeneye stated that the government will intensify its efforts through a massive sensitisation campaign and monitoring of the activities of the technicians and related associations in the cooling sector to ensure the phasing out of ozone depleting substances.

The General Manager, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe in her remarks, disclosed that this year’s theme is in tandem with the commitment of the State government to ensuring the gradual phasing out of ODS, especially those used in the manufacturing of refrigerants.

Dr. Fasawe emphasised the importance of the cooling sector, which has benefits such as good health and well-being in the built environment, increase in workforce productivity by 15%, reduced food loss and food wastage, among others.

She disclosed that the agency will work with relevant stakeholders like the Nigerian Association of Refrigeration and Air Condition Practitioners (NARAP), Cooling Parts Dealers Association (COPDAS), and Refrigeration and Air Condition Dealers Association (RADA), among others, to embark on an aggressive awareness campaign to various refrigeration and air conditioning markets within the State to educate them on the need to continually protect the ozone layer.

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“In ensuring the implementation of the Montreal Protocol, there is a need for cooperation among relevant stakeholders to ensure that banned refrigerants and other ODS are not imported into the country”, she asserted.

Senior Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, University Ibadan, Dr. Gilbert Adie, in his paper stressed the benefit of the protocol, which has helped to reduce the ozone depletion that would have increased tenfold by 2050 and resulted in millions of additional cases of cancer and other dangerous health issues.

He, therefore, advised the cooling sector to avoid the banned ODS and adhere strictly to guidelines and timelines for phasing out refrigerants rich in ODS.

In his contribution, the Former Dean, School of Engineering and Engineering Technology, Federal University of Technology Akure, Prof. M.A. Akintunde, emphasised the need to expedite action on reducing the release of ODS by embarking on continuous training and sensitisation of relevant technicians and practitioners to ensure the phasing out of substances to make the Earth comfortable for human health and ecosystem.

Notable personalities present at the session include Mr. Oluyomi Banjo, an environmental expert from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO); Chairman of NARAP, Pastor Gabriel Orenuga and Chairman, Lawanson Refrigeration Association, Mr. Obinna Obichukwu, among others.

The stakeholders committed to work with the State Government in educating the public on the continuous need to protect the ozone layer from depleting substances.

Highlight of the webinar session was a talk and poem presentation by the students of the Birch Freeman High School and Eko Boys High School, who also spoke on the Ozone Layer Depletion and the preventive measures necessary to reduce the trend.

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