HomeEnvironment & ClimateNESREA Reviews Environmental Permits To Tackle Exposure To Hazardous Substances

NESREA Reviews Environmental Permits To Tackle Exposure To Hazardous Substances

The Federal Government has initiated a review of the National Environmental (Permitting and Licensing Systems) Regulations, S.I. 29, 2009, to address gaps related to the current and emerging environmental issues.

The regulation is aimed at improving air quality and environmental conservation as well as checking exposure to waste and hazardous substances.

Speaking at the expert critique meeting for the review recently in Abuja, the Director-General of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, Dr. Innocent Barikor, said the document sought to strengthen environmental laws.

In his words, “The regulation seeks to achieve statutory environmental targets and outcomes, such as improvement in air quality, environmental conservation, and avoidance of exposure to waste and hazardous substances, by issuing environmental permits to the regulated community.

“These permits have significantly aided the agency in achieving her mandate of ensuring compliance with environmental laws, policies, standards, and guidelines. However, in the course of operationalising the provisions of these regulations in the last 15 years, some gaps were identified.”

He added that those gaps included trending and emerging environmental issues, such as climate change, marine pollution, and biodiversity conservation, which are of global concern.

Barikor asserted that the factors necessitated NESERA seeking assistance through the Quick Wins of its 5-Year Impact Plan from the UNEP-LEAP Small Scale Funding Agreement.

He said that was under Montevideo Programme V to facilitate the review of the regulation.

According to the NESERA DG, permitting and licensing regulations are the backbone that provides the necessary structure to balance growth, innovation, and public safety.

“However, as with any system, there is always room for improvement. There is a need for ongoing efforts to refine and enhance our regulatory processes,” he said.

He said that the agency had so far conducted desktop reviews/documentation and interacted with relevant stakeholders across the six geopolitical zones, adding that the agency also interacted with stakeholders from the 35 states of the federation through its zonal and state field offices.

Barikor urged stakeholders to consider the review process as a testament to the agency’s commitment to leaving a legacy of environmental sustainability for generations to come.

A former Director of the Department of Planning and Policy Analysis, NESERA, Victor Ojogbo, stated that the issue of the environment was critical. However, the essence of the review was to examine the issues of offences, penalties for defaulters, and enforcement by the agency.

He declared, “The review would also ensure that the regulators and regulated were placed on their toes for seamless enforcement.

“I said that the issue of the environment is not to be treated with kids’ gloves because if it affects me, it affects you and then the environment.”


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