Nigeria, Four Others To End Dirty Oil Deal With Europe

By Ikenga Chronicles December 7, 2016

The United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP) has disclosed that Nigeria alongside four other ECOWAS countries will end deals with Europe over importation of toxic fuels, in order to improve the health of about 250 million people.

Other countries which include Benin, Togo, Ghana, and Ivory Coast vowed to ensure that fuels coming into the countries have cleaner and has low-sulphur as the level of sulphur in fuels coming from Europe is 300 times higher than what is obtainable in there.

A campaign group–Public Eye– in its September report described the issue as a “ticking time bomb” as cities grow across Africa and populations boom in major hubs including Nigeria’s Lagos and Ghana’s Accra.

Sulphur has been pointed to be responsible for deadly heart and lung diseases, according to health experts.

UNEP head, Erik Solheim said “West Africa is sending a strong message that it is no longer accepting dirty fuels from Europe … they are placing the health of their people first. Air pollution is killing millions of people every year and we need to ensure that all countries urgently introduce cleaner fuels and vehicles to help reduce the shocking statistics”

UNEP added that plans have been concluded by the affected countries to improve the operations of their public and private owed refineries to improve the quality of their fuel by 2020.

Speaking on the agreement, the Minister of Environment, Amina Mohamed, said it would massively improve the air quality in the country and allow the nation to set modern vehicle standards.

“For 20 years, Nigeria has not been able to address the vehicle pollution crisis due to the poor fuels we have been importing” Mohamed said in a statement.

However, the UN affirmed that if agreements are implemented, fuels coming into the countries will be able to guarantee the reduction of harmful emissions by up to 90 per cent, according to the UNEP.

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