The National Environmental Standards & Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) kicked-off its 8th National Stakeholders Forum yesterday Tuesday 4th November, at Nicon Luxury Hotel Abuja. The 2-day forum which has been scheduled to end today Wednesday 5th was tagged “Stakeholders’ Engagement in Environmental Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement.
The main objective of this forum is to create an avenue for discussion, public inclusiveness and engagement of relevant stakeholders for environmental compliance and monitoring to be able seek workable strategies for recurrent environmental issues and environmental human rights in the country.
NESREA being a parastatal of federal Ministry of Environment, is an agency and arm of government that has been charged with the responsibility of enforcing all environmental laws, guidelines, policies, standards and regulations in Nigeria; and to prohibit processes and the use of equipment or technology that undermine environmental quality.
Top dignitaries at event were Professor Jerry Gana, CON, Former Minister of Information, he is also the Chairman of the Forum, Current Minister of Environment, Mrs Laurentia Mallam, Famous Environmentalist, Lekan fadina CEO, Center for Sustainable Development and of course Mrs Ngeri Benebo, Director General, NESREA amongst others.
Mrs Ngeri Benebo, in her Welcome address said the NESREA has over the year ensured mechanisms to curb and control all forms environmental abuses and degradation. It has ensured consistency in its responsibility to enforce environmental laws and regulations in Nigeria. Other roles are:
– To developing a strategic plan to achieve an healthier and safe environment;
– To control air, land and water pollution.
She stated that this forum is essential so as to deepen the knowledge of the general public, CSOs, NGOs on how to collectively perform our roles in supporting NESREA and as the relevant stakeholders to achieve strong synergy thereby forming a common front to tackle the recurrent issues that undermine environmental quality in Nigeria.
Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology represented by
Dr Steven Odeh, while delivering the goodwill message. He said they are solidly behind NESREA. We will ensure we enact laws that will make NESREA function effectively. We will not enact the law that is not tandem with the role of NESREA he affirmed.
Famous Lekan Fadina, also in his goodwill message said NESREA has successfully carried out its purpose and message over the years, but what is more important is continuity. What we lack in Nigeria is continuity. A healthy society is the key to sustainable livelihood and all of us are part of this process he urged.
The chairman of the forum, Prof jerry Gana in his speech, said Nesrea has done well in the last 8 years. At its inception we often referred to them as “police people of environment”. Stakeholder involvement in the environment is necesary to establish enforcement and interaction. It is an effective approach to execute and apply state’s informed decisions he said.
He added further that forum like this enhances and promotes citizens’ participation in necessary political will for environmental protection. If we are to succeed in this process of protecting Nigeria’s environment, our federation must not be a competitive state, we must be cooperative and work together. Through this forum we must pass the message by keeping our environment healthier, sustainable and livable.
He further stated that it would be necessary for Nesrea to build partnership to protect our environment from being degraded.
Country Director, UNIDO ably represented by Mr oluyomi Banjo declared their support for Nesrea’s committee and mandate to make Nigeria a safer and cleaner nation. And urge every citizens for their cooperation.
Chief Executive Officer, Development Planing & Management Consultant, Prince Abimbola Onibokun delivered the lead paper ” Engaging Stakeholders in Environmental Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement: Innovations, Prospects and Challenges”
In his paper, he emphasied more on inclusiveness and accountability as major driver for any result oriented plan. He analysed 4 Ps which are plan, preparation, process and promise as the essentials to monitoring and enforcement.
Minister of Environment, Mrs Laurentia Mallam added colour to the forum. In her key note address, she urged the participants to desist from any engagement that may cause our environment uninhabitable and unhealthy. She commended the NESREA DG for the good works so far since the Inception of the agency in 2007. She urged the stakeholders to be part of watch dogs so as to achieve cleaner environment.
Various papers were delievered after the tea break.
- Engaging the judicary and Law Enforcement Agencies in Environmental Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement by Barr. Soji Awogbade, Principal Partner, Alex Chambers, Lagos.
- Communicating Environmental Compliance and Enforcement to Target Audience: Role of the Media” By Imoni Amarere of AIT
- Engaging the Bussiness and Industry in Environmental Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement” by Professor Oladele Osibanjo, Director Basel Regional Coordinating Centre, University of Ibadan, Oyo State.