In a move to checkmate environmental pollution and climate
change, the Lagos State House of Assembly has concluded plans
to pass a gas emission bill into law. The gas emission legislation
bill when passed into law would protect the environment in
the state and save it from the dangers of global warming.
According to the legislators, the new law is aimed at curbing pollution, particularly from the use of fossil fuels in the state. The Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, explained that rapid increase in atmospheric pollution from automobiles and industries has continued to be of great concern to all stakeholders especially Lagosians.
The legislators’ concern in this regard is understandable in view of the adverse effects global warming would have in a coastal environment like Lagos. The United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) recent Human Development Report (HDR) states that climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. Also a new study in Lagos has shown that there is a high concentration of carbon monoxide in most parts of the state. Most of the emitted gas is mainly from vehicle exhausts, generators and industrial effusions.
We welcome the move by the legislators to enact the law against gas emission considering the environmental dangers posed by global warming and the depletion of ozone layer as a result of activities that are inimical to the environment.
Unchecked gaseous emission has far reaching health and environmental
implications for Lagos and its residents. The problem is real
and the concerns of the legislators are genuine because such
climate change, which can lead to flooding, can also negatively
affect the topography and agriculture of the state. Irregular
rainfall can seriously affect the production of food crops
while flooding can hamper aquatic life especially in the area
of fish farming.
Sources of pollutant gas emissions are legion in the Lagos environment. Most of the vehicles that ply Lagos roads use combustible fossil fuel that emits these harmful substances. The situation is further aggravated by the presence of unserviceable vehicles, vehicles that are not road worthy and heavy-duty vehicles that emit dangerous gaseous materials on Lagos roads.
A lot of gaseous effusions also emanate from the factories that use various chemicals for their production activities. The use of generators as alternative power supply has contributed to the release of gas emissions into the atmosphere as well as the use of second hand refrigerators. In addition to the law, the government must act fast and ban the dumping of second hand refrigerators, generators, computers, televisions and other gas-emitting gadgets on our shores. Also, unserviceable and rickety vehicles that pollute the environment should not be allowed to ply our roads.
The law to stem the gas emission is good and timely. Our only worry is in the area of its faithful implementation. Over the years, the problem in Nigeria is never the lack of necessary legislation but the will to implement it to the letter. We say this bearing in mind that any law that is not fully implemented and obeyed by all and sundry is as good as no law.
We therefore enjoin the lawmakers and the government to muster enough will to implement the law. The law should be made to apply to all classes of people so that there would be no sacred cow syndrome in its implementation.
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