The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), an agency under the Federal Ministry of Environment has told Nigerians, especially those residing in urban settlements, to stop using the two-stroke engine generators because of the danger their smoke poses to the environment.
NESREA’s Director-General, Professor Aliyu Jauro, who gave the warning in an interview with Daily Trust in Abuja, said the two-stroke engine generators, often referred to as ‘I pass my neighbour’, is contributing immensely to the pollution of the air and environment in the country.
Aliyu, who spoke on the recently concluded International Air Day of the Blue Skies, said such generators had been a major air pollutant across the country and called on citizens to desist from using them.
He said although many people are using such generators because of the country’s power situation, they can embrace the solar systems instead.
He also reminded Nigerians that the ban on the importation and sale of the generators was still in place, adding that soon the agency will activate one of its measures to curb the usage of the two-stroke engine gen by arresting and prosecuting the defaulters.
Professor Jauro said, “One of the things we have succeeded in doing is to ask the federal government to ban the importation of two-stroke engine gens, that is the one Nigerians call ‘I better pass my neighbour’, in which you mix engine oil with petrol in the same tank.
“Those small generating sets are high pollutants. So by law, people are not supposed to import and use them.
“These are some of the measures in place, even though we still have them because people find other ways of importing them. We encourage people to patronize green sources of energy like solar.”
The DG revealed that “We have a program coming up soon to check the usage of such generators even though we are going to start with the big generating sets, before coming down to the smaller ones.
“We are weighing the two for compliance. We are going to work to ensure that people reduce the use of generating sets because of the environment.
“If you have it in your neighbourhood, there is noise pollution, air pollution; there is likely to be oil spillage because a lot of oil is involved. We encourage Nigerians to switch to solar.”
He also mentioned other sources of pollution to include firewood, especially in rural areas but added that industries are one of the highest pollutants.
He said, “they use a lot of machinery, fossil fuel and emit a lot of pollutants. Likewise the transportation sector; we have mobile sources and also stationary sources like power generating stations.
Prof Jauro reminded Nigerians that “Air pollution is one of the major causes of death, as of 2016. It is said that about 6.5 million people died because of air pollution.
“When you breathe in polluted air, it causes a lot of health challenges, asthma, cancer, bronchitis and other health issues.”