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Experts task FG on global practices in EIA review

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Ikenna Ofoegbu

Stakeholders in environmental matters have sought a review of Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Act based on global best practices in order to save lives and secure the environment.

The experts spoke at public presentation of Policy Brief on improving Nigeria’s Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIAs) organised by Environmental Resource Centre (ERC) in Abuja.

Speaking at the event, representative of Country Director, Heinrich Boell Foundation, Ikenna Ofoegbu, said review of 1992 EIA Act should be a collective effort, which would bring about best environment for sustainable development.

He urged the National Assembly, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), business community, corporate bodies and individuals to be involved in putting in place a people’s law as well as climate change programmes

To him, government should include social and cultural aspects of the people in the new legislation, adding, there will be a time where we have many refineries, by that time nothing would be done about environmental hazards.

Also a consultant to ERC, Dr. Ire Okukupon regretted that there are conflicting rules and regulations among stakeholders, stressing that EIA law stems to forestall environmental problems such as health and social aspects.

She noted that NESREA lacked the capacity in terms of carrying execution, monitoring and compliance of laws in the country because of little manpower to cope with the magnitude of environmental issues .

“ ERC recommends an upward review of penalties to include higher monetary payment between N5 to N10 million in the case of corporate bodies and N500, 000 to N2 million for individual,” she added.

On his part, the Deputy Director in EIA Department, Olayinka Tejuosho stressed that his department has since 1992 been on the driver seat to create safety awareness and to ensure environmental legislations are implementing in society.

In reviewing the Act, he explained that observations made by the experts were factual, stressing however that they should not compare Nigeria with developed countries in area of challenges since they are not the same.


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