By Sunday Akintoye
The Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammed Mahmood, has pledged the Federal Government’s commitment to training of beneficiaries of high-pressure polyurethane foaming machines to create more jobs.
Mahmood made the pledge during inauguration and hand over of four sets of portable high-pressure polyurethane foaming machines to beneficiary companies in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the minister supervised a demonstration of how the equipment worked.
The equipment is a spraying and pouring machine under the UNIDO component of stage II of the Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) phase-out Management Plan (HPMP).
While handling over the machines to beneficiaries, the minister commended UNIDO and the Multilateral Fund of the Montreal Protocol for their assistance.
He said that the machines were intended to help beneficiaries manage their transition from the use of HCFC based foaming equipment to HCFC and Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) free ones by replacing the existing equipment to use environment friendly methyl formulae (MF) as the foaming agent.
Mahmood added that the transition was aimed at phasing-out the eligible consumption of 30.5 metric tonnes of HCFC-141b used in the manufacturing of polyurethane foam in the production of cold rooms and other commercial refrigerators.
“In order to achieve this phase out target, the government, in collaboration with UNIDO, will ensure that adequate training is provided on the use of the machines, inspect the installation and routinely monitor their use,’’ the minister said.
The Regional Director of UNIDO, Mr Jean Bakole, explained that Nigeria, in conjunction with UNIDO, was not only contributing to the protection of the ozone layer but also supporting the industrialisation drive in the country.
“Nigeria, being a party to the Montreal Protocol, has an obligation to phase-out HCFCs.This cannot be achieved without the manufacturing and servicing players of refrigeration and air-conditioning, agriculture, fire-fighting sectors and so on,’’ Bakole said.
He said that the UNIDO-Nigeria Country Programme spanned from 2018 to 2022 and had nine programmatic components with component eight as Environmental Protection.
“This country programme will contribute towards the industrialisation drive without compromising the Nigerian Environment.’’
Responding on behalf of the other three beneficiaries, Mr William Adebisi of Coldcare Limited, thanked the government for the gesture.
Adebisi promised that the beneficiaries would put the machines to good use and create more employment opportunities.