NESREA warns Kano tannery operators against pollution
The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) has read the riot act to tannery operators in Kano State, warning them to desist from degrading the environment or face full wrath of the law.
The Director General of the agency, Dr. Lawrence Chidi Anukam, sounded the warning while addressing facility owners at the main Hall of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) in Kano.
Describing Kano as a strategic industrial hub, he expressed regret that the operators have abused the facility and used it as a hot spot for environmental degradation.
Anukam also said, “ it was rather disturbing and unfortunate that the environment is being seriously impacted as a result of their reckless attitude and disregard for environmental laws and regulations.”
“It is a lot easier to destroy than to build. This cannot continue; we would not let one industry or the other pull down what we consider our common heritage”, he added.
To him, it is disheartening and a pointer to complete disregard for human lives, a situation whereby despite repeated visits by Agency officials, facility owners still refuse to comply.”
“Where you refuse to do the right thing, the rules will automatically apply; we cannot fold our hands and watch. This is totally unacceptable. We are not interested in sanctions, but if we are forced to, then we shall wield the big stick”, he warned.
He told the facility operators that the deluge of complaints and the steady flow of negative reports about their actions had necessitated second meeting, charging them that “nobody is above the law.
“You need to run your industry in such a way that your activities will have minimum negative impact on the environment or none at all. In the first meeting held few years ago, the Industrialists had agreed to treat their effluent at least to primary levels before discharge into the public drain.”
Because of the economic value of Kano city and the importance of human lives, Dr Anukam called for the procurement and installation of Anti-pollution equipment with immediate effect.
He called on the Kano Chapter of MAN to initiate some form of Training/Capacity building to educate facility owners on best environmental practices and also advised them to utilize the pool of accredited environmental consultants where it concerns environmental safety.
Earlier, the Director-General and his team had conducted an on-the-spot inspection of some facilities in Sharada, Bompai and Challawa areas, where erring facility operators were instantly queried on reckless operations.