Lagos under Governor Babajide Sanwo’s watch has been ranked 133 in the world’s most polluted cities, according to the latest survey by IQAir.
The Swiss air quality technology company also ranked Nigeria 10th in Africa and 18th out of 118 countries ranked globally in 2022.
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Working on what it called historical data from 2017 to 2022, IQAir said the annual average PM2.5 concentration (μg/m³) of Lagos is “unhealthy” advising the government to “start implementing a large amount of preventative measures to keep pollution levels down and thus improve the wellbeing of its inhabitants”.
The major source of air pollution, according to the report, comes from “vehicle emissions, closely followed by industry and domestic energy use”.
It added; “Every day, 227 vehicles clog each kilometre of road. Most of these vehicles are over 15 years old and are not equipped with the latest emission technologies.
“The fuel they use has a very high sulphur content which is 200 times higher than U.S. standards for diesel.
“Industrial emissions are the second source of air pollution. Industrial and commercial zones like Apapa, Idumota, Ikeja and Odogunyan, where cement, chemicals, furniture, oil refineries, steel processing industries are concentrated, have high levels of pollution. In Odogunyan, a PM2.5 concentration of 1,770 µg/m³ was recorded in a period of 24 hours.
“Generators supply half of Lagos’ total energy needs and are yet another source of air pollution. The poor combustion of the gasoline and oil used to power the generators pollutes the air and could cause huge health damage.
“The use of energy such as charcoal, wood and kerosene in cooking, makes the problem difficult in rural areas due to limited infrastructure and access to clean energy.”