In view of the increase in air pollution and high effects of sulphur oxide emission on the environment, the federal government on Tuesday revealed plans to increase tariff on importation of rickety and older vehicles into the country.
Apart from addressing concerns of health hazards associations with importation of such kind of vehicle, the government said, discouraging such kind of vehicle would also create room for car dealers and Nigerians to look inward and patronising locally made vehicles while promoting the nation’s automotive policy.
Usman Jibril, Minister of State for Environment represented by Usman Ahmed Shehu, Permanent Secretary in the ministry who gave the information at a National Workshop on Low Sulphur Fuels and Global Fuel Economy Initiative in Nigeria said that preparations are underway for the Federal Executive Council to get a Memo to that effect.
He said,” What we have tried to do currently is working towards reduction of importation of sulphur diesel from 3000 MP to 50 MP at the first instance.”
“We have given the importers of refined Petroleum products 3-4 years waiver so that they could prepare for that qaulity of Petroleum products. We are going to submit Memo to this effect to the federal Executive Council for approval to be implemented by the federal Ministry of Environment and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation,” he said.
Speaking further on efforts aimed at reducing sulphur on petroleum products imported into Nigeria and the West African sub-region,the United Nation’s Environment representative at the event Jane Akumu, said there are already high level discussions with Netherlands and Belgium on reviewing fuel standards imported into Nigeria and other West African sub-region to reduce emission.
“One of the things we are trying to promote at the United Nation’s environment is to address bulk of import of Petroleum and ensure they are highly standardised.
According to the UN representative,”We are also working with at the international level with the Netherlands, Belgium,where lots of storage facilities for the fuel that comes into West Africa is stored. They have African specific fuel quality. They blend and put in all sorts of things for maximum profits,because the laws here are a bit relaxed.”
”We are also engaging with the exporters pointing out to them that the action is ethically not permissible,” The UN representative noted.
She further urged countries in the ECOWAS sub-region to implement the new emission standard for a healthier environment.
Jelani Aliyu,the director general of National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), said the federal Government have vehicle emission centres which are specifically designed to ensure proper and healthier certification of sulphur emission of vehicles.