From Judex Okoro, Calabar
The Federal government has outlawed the use of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) oils by Electricity Distribution Companies.
The consultant to the Federal Ministry of Environment on PCB elimination, Prof Babajide Aloh, who disclosed this in Calabar at a workshop on PCB elimination held on Wednesday, said the oils had since been phased out through the Stocklom Convention, but is still being used in the country despite its adverse effect.
He said the oils is gradually getting into the food systems in the country and the federal government has taken it seriously and gazetted a set of regulations to eliminate PCB elimination.
“The world found out these oils are very toxic and decided through the Stocklom Convention to eliminate PCBs in the world. The oils have found their way into our food systems and the Federal Government took it seriously and gazetted a set of regulations to eliminate PCBs in Nigeria.
“PCB oils have now been banned and anybody found using it will suffer a penalty.
“Compliance will start after the regulations have been published. It has now been gazetted and the federal ministry of health is taking steps to ensure everyone is aware of it”, he said.
He stressed that PCB oils are not produced in Nigeria, every single drop is imported and control will start at the ports. He assured that electricity will not go off due to the bank on use of PCB oils explaining that alternatives abound. PCB has been used as transformer oils as far back as 1946 and also general other areas of human enterprise which for a long time was a cooling unit for electricity generating transformers.