The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), government agencies and stakeholders have decried human activities that contribute to environmental abuse, especially poor air quality across the country.
They condemned this act on Friday at the close of the international conference organised by Centre for Atmospheric Research, an activity centre of NASRDA, in collaboration with Osun State University and Penn State University, USA.
The conference which lasted from Monday to Friday focused on COVID-19, Air Quality and Environment, with the theme “Fighting Pollution: A Silent Threat to our Existence.’’
The Director, Centre for Atmospheric Research, Babatunde Rabiu, said the centre in the past few years had positioned air quality sensors across different locations of the country.
Mr Rabiu said that the sensors were primarily to aid research on air quality which should improve a habitable environment for humans.
The director said that the centre has several air monitors across the country.
“We have nine clarity devices and 27 Purple Air sensors connected to us asides those connected to other individuals across the country,” he said.
The Provost, College of Science and Engineering, Osun State University, Israel Oyewole, drew the attention of agencies and the government to air pollution, as well as the need to address issues on bush burning.
Mr Oyewole called for improvement on the regulation of industry activities, as well as emissions into the environment.
“If we don’t control pollution, we are in a dangerous situation that will be affecting us,” he said.
The Osun Coordinator, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Chukwunweizu Maike, said that the agency has up to 34 regulations.
Mr Maike said the regulations include regulation on air pollution, vehicular emission, ozone layer, surface and ground water pollution, among others.
He further said that the agency in the state was ensuring compliance, monitoring of facilities, mining, base metal facilities and sanitation activities.
“We arrange mediation meetings to address community crises and currently, we have an issue of mining that almost led to the cancellation of the annual Osun Osogbo festival in August.
“Mining in Osun was getting higher and we are currently investigating ground and surface water pollution, particularly where we have the mining companies in Ilesha and Ile-Ife axis.
“Once we are done with the investigation, some of these companies may be sealed or will be made to face the right penalty,’’ Mr Maike said.
The Deputy General Manager, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET), Olumide Olaniyan, said the agency was proposing to establish more stations across the country to further monitor air quality.
Mrs Olaniyan said that continuous pollution of the environment causes climate change, while it affects the health of humans.
She recalled that according to the World Meteorological Organisation, Nigeria was ranked one of the worst polluted countries in Africa.