By Vivian Emoni, Abuja.
The Federal Government says it has trained more than 10,000 refrigeration technicians, while providing Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) and refrigerants’ identifiers in the refrigeration servicing sector, in order to ensure effective ozone-friendly practices.
The Minister of Environment, Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, said this at the commemoration of World Ozone Day (WOD) in Abuja.
Abdullahi said that the theme for the 2022 WOD was “Montreal Protocol at 35: Global Cooperation Protecting life on Earth”.
He said that the theme highlighted the protocol’s positive impact on the ozone layer and climate over the past 35 years.
The minister said that the theme also recognized its wider impact on climate change and the need for global cooperation to further address the challenges of ozone layer depletion and climate.
He said that the government, in line with the protocol’s ODS phase-out schedule, had assisted over 700 large, small and medium enterprises.
Abdullahi said that the assistance was in the foam, refrigeration and air conditioning, aerosols and solvent sectors, adding that the effort was to convert to ozone-friendly substances and technologies.
He said that the commitment resulted in 100-per-cent phase-out of over 4,000 metric tonnes of ODSs, with high ODPs.
The minister said that about 26 institutions, polytechnics and government technical colleges, were identified and equipped to serve as training centres for good refrigeration practices.
“Therefore, we have trained the trainers from the identified centres and developed training manuals on good refrigeration practices.
“These have also led to the training of more than 10,000 refrigeration technicians in the refrigeration servicing sector.
“However, we have trained more than 850 chemical regulatory and enforcement officers in identification of ODSs, to ensure their effective control and provided the relevant agencies with ODS refrigerants’ identifiers,’’ he said.
Abdullahi said that the ODS phase-out activities were achieved with support from the Multilateral Fund (MLF) for the implementation of the Montreal Protocol to meet its compliance obligations.
He noted that under the refrigeration and air conditioning servicing sector, a lot had been achieved through the support of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The minister said that procurement of servicing equipment for two master training centres, 16 other training centres and a reclamation centre, among others, had been achieved.
Abdullahi said that Nigeria had ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, adding that it had also come into force.
He said that the implementation of the amendment would provide an opportunity to adapt ozone and climate-friendly technologies and improve energy efficiency in the cooling sector.
“In order to establish a regulatory framework for its implementation, my ministry updated the existing Ozone Layer Regulations (2009).
“This is to include provisions and guidelines for the phase down of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HFCs), in line with the amendment.
“The updated regulation is now known as the Ozone Layer Protection and HFCS Phase Down Regulation 2022.
“We will continue to work with other relevant agencies for effective enforcement of the regulations,’’ he said.
The minister was represented by the Director, Pollution Control and Environmental Health of the Ministry, Mr Charles Ikea.
The UNDP Programme Manager, Mr Oladipo Osibo, said that the ozone layer was important in protecting lives on earth.
Osibo said that the essence of celebrating the preservation of the ozone layer was to raise public awareness on the importance of the ozone layer and other living things on the surface of the earth.
He, however, encouraged Nigerians to do all that could be done, by intensifying efforts towards ensuring the protection of the earth.