Experts want EIA report as loan requirement
As part of inputs to the on-going review of outdated 1992 Environmental Impact Assessment Act (EIA), environmentalists have solicited the inclusion of EIA reports as pre-condition for project loans.
They are seeking the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) involvement in its enforcement and implementation by the financial institutions. The experts also want EIA to be entrenched as a planning and management tool, with focus on social, environmental, economic, health and traffic impacts of projects.
These were parts of the 17-point recommendations made at a one-day Validation workshop on: “Improving Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIAs), orgainised by Environmental Resource Centre (ERC) in collaboration with Heinrich Boll Stiftung Nigeria in Lagos.
Environmentalists like Dr. Oluwatoyin Adejonwo-Osho, Dr. Irepitan Okukpon, Mr. Huzi Mshelia, Dr. Celina Maduemezia, Ajayi Stella Jumoke, Monika Umunna and Savage Festus Kayode, who spoke at the event also want an improved public participation of relevant stakeholders for real engagement through awareness at impact and post impact assessment stages of projects.
They were of the opinion that such engagement and enforcement would mitigate the negative environmental impacts of projects on the communities as well as the future impacts on the people.
The Project Supervisor for ERC, Mr. Huzi Mshelia in a remark, disclosed that a revised ESIA Act would be a proof of Nigeria’s ongoing achievement in entrenching the concept of sustainable development.
For the Programme Manager of Heinrich Boll Stiftung, Monika Umunna, environmental Impact Assessment was a requirement by law and should be one of the most powerful tools to protect the environment and the social rights of the people globally.
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