Lagos state in the south western region of Nigeria, does not need so much introduction.The state aside being a former capital of Nigeria, is the nations economic hub as over 60% of Nigeria's commercial concerns including banks, mutinational companies and government offices are located in Lagos.
But,life in the Lagos is fast becoming a nightmare for over ten point five million citizens in the state. One problem is the air quality which has greatly and is being contaminated by smoke. This smoke gets to the air through a whole lot of means which include the use of generating sets, vehicular emision and burning of organic materials. Vehicular emision is however about the most cause of air pollution because they are simply too much cars in the city, and the number increases by the day.From Morning to night on daily basis , most roads in the city are jampacked with vehicles, private cars , industrial and commercial buses, most of which emit quantums of smoke.
According to a renounced environmentalist, Dr. Desmond Majekodunmi, smoke when breathed, react with oxygen in the body to oxyhomoglobin, which can cause instant death. In his comparism, he said, just luck yourself in the house of smoke for six minutes and see that you wont be alife to tell what happened.
It is also argued that people in Lagos may not live as long as those in other smaller cities and villages because of poor quality which reduces life expectancy.
Although too many vehicles on the roads is not encouraging, the problem lies with the quality of cars. Most car imported into the country, have passed their useful ages but these old cars find themseves into the shores of the contry in millions, because of the penchance of most citizen to drive cars.
A concerned resident, an international trader, Mr. Stephen Ona, believes the flooding of the country with outdated cars should be blamed on the activities at the boarders.He says" those men at the boarders are not interested in checks. As long as you can offer them money, or have the best connections, they allow you to pass whether the vehicles are as old as Methusela".
Another, respondent, an environment activist, Dr. Peter Okereke, says vehicle inspection officers in the country should do their job by ensuring that drivers not only service their cars periodically, but also vehicles that have past at most fifteen years are taken away from the roads." In Singapore, once a particular car is ten years it is taken out of the road, but the situation is quite different in Nigeria. Discarded cars in Europe are shipped into Nigeria and even sold at exhorbitant price to citizens because every one want to be a car owner. Why make Nigeria a dumping ground for dead vehicles?".
Many others also belive that state government's effort to make a mega city out of Lagos, may make no meaning unless measures are put in place to control emission of smoke from vehicles especially.
One major suggestion they put forward, is the adoption of an agelong policy in which vehicles with even numbers and odd numbers are allowed on the roads at different days.Secondly, they charge vehicle inspection authorities to be more serious in their duties by ensuring that only cars in good condition ply the roads.