More Nigerians will need to embrace the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), if the plan to reduce air pollution and further cut down on the carbon footprint coming from wood fuel must be actualized.
This much formed the thrust of the discussion at a campaign commemorating the 2019 World Environment Day organized by the Friends of the Environment (FOTE) in conjunction with the Conservation Club of Federal Science and Technical College (FSTC), Yaba, Lagos.
According to the chairperson, FOTE, Engr (Mrs) J.O Maduka, despite the health and environmental issues attributed to the use of charcoal and firewood to cook, many Nigerians are yet to embrace other cleaner alternatives, saying their activities have continued to jeopardize the sanctity of the environment.
“The practice of using firewood to fry garri and do domestic cooking, especially among rural women has led to the release of more dangerous gases and deforestation as more trees are being cut down.
“Infact, we discovered that at present, many of our schools still use wood fuel for cooking,” Maduka said, urging students to join the advocacy against wood fuel to fast-track 100% transition to cleaner fuels in the country.
Delivering a lecture at the event, Senior Environment, Social and Governance Consultant with EBS Advisory Nigeria, Mr. Abbas Agbaje, worries that breathable clean air is gradually becoming a luxury in some Nigerian cities. He cautioned that failure to transit from dirty fuel will continue to cost Nigeria more lives and her useful resources.
“The burning of biomass based fuel such as firewood and kerosene which are often used in cooking at various homes and for other commercial purposes has made Nigeria to have some of the most polluted cities in the world with a death rate of about 400 per 1000 persons which is even higher than pollution death rates in some advanced economies,” he said.
To enable more Nigerians use LPG, otherwise known as cooking gas, Agbaje said “rather than spending a lot on kerosene subsidy, the government should instead consider subsidizing LPG which is a lot cleaner.”
Comparing the efficiency of LPG to other fuel sources, the Managing Director, Chimos Gas Limited, Engr. Baylon Duru stated that its carbon emission is 50% and 20% lower than coal and heating oil (kerosene) respectively.
Duru stressed that LPG is multipurpose in usage, safer and emits less gas than wood fuel, saying it is easier for Nigeria to completely switch over to it because the country has abundant of it in proven reserves.
“Nigeria’s LPG consumption is the least in Sub saharan Africa, despite having the largest LPG resources in the continent,” he said.
On her part, the Director, FSTC, Yaba-Lagos, Dr. (Mrs) O. Ufoegbune said the event sponsored by the West African Seasoning Company Limited, makers of Ajino-Moto further harped on the reason why the world must unite to reduce 7 million deaths stemming from air pollution yearly.