The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) on Thursday sealed three industrial facilities in and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas in Rivers.
Mr Jonathan Dajal, the Rivers State Coordinator of NESEREA, said this in Port Harcourt.
The State Coordinator said the facilities were Davidson Gas oil, Oil Field Services both in Local Government Area and Akpos Marine Services in Port Harcourt Local Government Area. The News Agency of Nigeria recalled that Nigeria as a sovereign state, was a signatory to series of multilateral environmental agreements on environment matters.
NESREA in 2007 was mandated by law, through the Federal Ministry of Environment, to ensure that facilities and any form of human activities, individual or corporate organisations operating within the country, were regulated.
Dajal said that the Agency was mandated to ensure that Nigeria’s environment was cleaner, safer and healthier at all times.
He said that the primary aim of the monitoring of compliance in the industrial facilities was to ensure that environments were not polluted or degraded.
“The Agency had earlier embarked on sensitisation, inspection and compliance monitoring of facilities,’’ he said.
According to him, the facilities sealed are not in compliance with the stipulated guidelines of operations.
“The companies were visited severally, especially Davidson Gases, Oil fields Service, and the time line was given to them because NESREA adopts carrot and stick approach before sealing facilities.
“We ensure that statutory documents that needed to be acquired are acquired, but if the timeline given elapses and the facilities are adamant in compliance, then the law takes its natural course and this is where enforcement takes its place.
“Davison Gas Oil produces asatelin gas with the use of carbide which pollutes the environment around the company; they refused to do their environmental audit, no permit, and a containment pit hipped for over 15 years without evacuation,’’ Dajal said.
He said that Oil Field Services engaged in the treatment of waste from Oil and Gas and they used ternal desolution process.
“It is heat generated at a certain frequency and temperature, where they dry the soil, separate the oil and water from the waste, and use the soil for reclamation or sand filing purposes.
“Likewise Akpos Marine that have been visited since 2019, and all the guidelines stated for the management to adhere.
“There was no positive response from the management and no intention to comply, the lives of our officers were threatened at a particular occasion when they went for monitoring on compliance,’’ he said.
Dajal said that this company have not complied with any of the stipulated guidelines of industrial access form, neither it nor the business registration form had been returned.
He urged the sealed companies to comply voluntarily or face the consequences by law.
The National Environmental Standards Regulatory and Enforcement Agancy (NESREA) has urged lawyers to adhere to rules and principles guiding environmental laws in their practice, to promote healthy and safety of the environment.
The Director-General of the agency, Prof. Aliyu Jauro, said this in a statement by the Chief Information Officer of the agency, Mrs Amaka Ejiofor, while receiving a Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) team in Abuja.
The statement said that the team, from Gwagwalada Branch, paid the agency a courtesy visit to seek a strong collaboration with the NESREA on effective environmental law.
Jauro said that the dearth of environmental lawyers was a major setback in the war against environmental crimes in the country.
He said that lack of knowledge in the area of environmental law was a serious challenge, adding that many lawyers were not abreast with issues pertaining to the environment.
According to him, “even though we have a lot of legislative framework on environmental issues, many lawyers are not really taking environmetal issues serious.
“We had in the past organised workshops for judges and other judicial officers as part of advocacy on environmental law enforcement.
“The essence of the workshop is for the judges to know and understand the environmetal principles and support the agency in ensuring that environmetal laws are maitained in the country”.
Jauro said that the agency had developed 35 regulations in environment sector, adding that the regulations were already being implemented to promote environmental governance and sustainability.
He, however, implored the lawyers to use public interest litigation to develop, enrich and promote the agency’s jurisprudence.
The Chairman of the NBA, Emmanuel Ogunjide, who led the team appreciated Jauro and his management for the numerous achievements recorded by the agency.
“I actually commend the DG and his management team.
We are impressed.
If not for the effort of the agency, the environment in the country will be in a worse situation,” he said.
He said that the aim of the visit was to seek the agency’s collaboration on capacity building in the area of environmental law.
“We want your experience and wealth of knowledge to rub off on us,” he added.
The Federal Government on Monday says it is set to institute an environmental task force on oil pollution, and vowed to hold International Oil Companies (IOCs) accountable for massive pollution of environment.
The Minister of Environment, Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, said this at the 12th National Regulatory Dialogue on Implementation of National Environmental Regulations, organised by the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), in AbujaAbdullahi said that the essence of the dialogue was to address certain gaps and produce a sufficient regulatory framework that would deal with emerging and ongoing environmental challenges.
“The federal government is conscious of the state of environmental degradation in the country and is making strong effort in addressing the situation.
“The federal government is also making efforts toward effective management, conservation and protection of the biological resources in our environment for sustainable development.
“Accordingly, the federal government will henceforth hold the international oil companies accountable for the massive pollution of our environment and its ecosystem.
“Government is set to institute an environmental task force, especially on oil pollution, and will monitor, track, evaluate and sanction these erring companies and their local collaborators.
According to the minister, “pollution follows the frangrant abuse of our coastlines, mangroves, natural habitats in the guise of prospecting or exploiting of our biodiversity resources.
“Government will apply the principles of the polluters pays’ to help in remediation efforts of polluted communities,” he said.
Abdullahi said that the Federal Government has put in place institutional framework and regulation to ensure effective environmental protection and implementation of national policy on environment.
He said that the NESREA has developed 35 national environmental regulations across difference sectors of economy.
He said the 35 regulations have been gazetted and are being implemented across the country.
He said that the agency had reviewed eight regulations to bridge the identified gaps.
“These regulations are not designed to stifle economic and industrial development but are put in place to safeguard human and sustainable use of the environmental resources.
“I, therefore, call on everyone, most especially the IOCs and industry operators, to carefully study these regulations and comply as government will not hesitate to sanction defaulters.
“As we strive to evolve and adopt different approaches and strategies in solving our environmental challenges, I wish to plead with us to work together to review these regulations.
“The effort will enable us protect our environment for future generation,” he said.
The minister expressed worry over unprecedented environmental challenges, especially pollution, climate change and biodiversity loss.
He said that the loss of global forests is at an alarming rate of 350,000 to 400,000 hectares per year.
He, however, urged stakeholders to advocate strongly on the national regulations as much as possible, adding that compliance starts with awareness and sensitisation.
The Director-General of NESREA, Prof. Aliyu Jauro, said that the dialogue is an annual programme to delineate responsibilities, share experiences and fashion out best practices to support the promotion of effective environmental compliance monitoring and enforcement in the country.
He said that the government has put in place environmental monitoring tools such as the regulation, standards and guidelines to guide the regulated community and other citizens.
He called on relevant stakeholders to comply with the regulations and policies, adding that the regulations will be constantly reviewed to respond to emerging environmental challenges.
Lets Talk Academia- the education-based arm of creators of Nigeria’s first indigenous instant messaging app, has trained 24 top management staff members of the National Environmental Standards and Regulatory Enforcement Agency (NESREA).
The firm made this known in a statement by its Chief Executive Officer, Ms Folashade Ayeni, on Sunday in Abuja.
Ayeni said the two-day training with the theme, “Improving Employee Work Ethics Performance and Commitment in the Workplace” was part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.
She said the training was anchored on the need to encourage staff commitment to organisational goals and vision to produce optimum service delivery.
According to her, the four cardinal modules of the training are understanding work business ethics, building commitment and trust in the workplace, assertive communication and effective delegation as well as guiding against toxic work environment.
She said the initiative was borne out of the need to bridge the knowledge gap and instill good work ethics in the staff within the public service.
Ayeni noted that the training emphasised the need for participants to create their own personal value system centering around their “carriage and expectation.
” She added that LETS TALK had developed an innovative environmental safeguard product, known as the Save Environment Compact Tank (S.
Ayeni said this was to ensure the fulfillment of the Ministry of Environment’s mandate to protect the nation’s primary and secondary environment.
She said the product had captivating features such as surveillance, profiling, waste management and energy conservation among others.
Also speaking, Prof. Aliyu Jauro, Director-General of NESREA, commended the firm for organising the training which he said would contribute to national development.
Jauro said most of the participants had testified about the quality of the training and relevance to their duties and therefore called for further collaborations between LETS TALK and the agency in future.
The Sustainable Research and Action for Environmental Development(SRADev), an environmental NGO, has called for the regulation of the use of Highly Harzardous Pesticides(HHPs) in the country.
The Executive Director of SRADev, Dr Leslie Adogame, stated this at a news conference on Sustainable Alternatives to Highly Harzardous Pesticides (HHPs) on Friday in Lagos Adogame said that the regulation of the use of HHPs had become necessary because of its indiscriminate use which leads to poisoning and death.
He said that to stem the tide in the rise in the use of HHPs, there was the urgent need for the Federal Government – (NAFDAC) – to officially review or update allowed into the country.
According to him, NAFDAC owes Nigerians a duty of publicly release the list of banned HHPs in Nigeria.
He urged the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) to immediately -out the ‘Hazardous Pesticides Chemicals Regulation’ finalised by stakeholders two years ago.
“The Federal Ministry of Agriculture should immediately finalise the ‘National Organic Agriculture Policy for Nigeria’ which has been formulated since 2019. “The recent pronouncement by the African Union in the development of organic agriculture in the continent should be implemented on national and local level.
“Nigeria Government should facilitate the access to certification services.
“There is no government approved certifying body yet to standardize products and ensure compliance with organic production system.
“Awareness or advocacy on organic agriculture must be raised to de-emphasise conventional Agricultural practices.
“Organic agriculture should be inculcated into the educational curriculum,” Adogame said.
The executive director noted that the national consumption of pesticides was on the increase.
He attributed the increase to the expansion of the business of four corporations from the Global North that control 70 per cent of the global pesticide market to the Global South where pesticides are less strictly regulated.
He said that countries like Nigeria are increasingly at the receiving end, adding that national goals of biodiversity conservation could only be achieved if the use of pesticides is significantly reduced.
Adogame said that studies show that Glyphosate, Paraquat Dichloride, Dichlorvos (DDVP otherwise called Otapiapia), Chlorpyrifos are categorised as dangerous HHPs. He, however, said that these products that have been banned in many countries were still found highly imported into Nigeria and registered for use in Agriculture.
“In the years between 2015-2019, about 822 pesticides were registered in Nigeria by NAFDAC, of which 515, about 63 per cent, are classified as HHPs. “China had the largest share of 50 per cent, 244 in the origin of HHPs, followed by India 128. “Between 2020 and 2021, Glyphosate, a kind of organo-phosphorus compound, holds the highest share of all imported HHPs (Glyphosate accounts for a 67.4 per cent and 53.4 per cent of HHP imports in kilograms and litres respectively.
He noted that available data showed that the majority of imported registered pesticides in Nigeria are highly hazardous.
Adogame said that between 2020 and 2021, the cost of the HHPs imported into Nigeria amounted to over ₦75 billion, adding that imports from China and India alone accounted for over 97 per cent of the cost of HHP imports.
He said that alternatives to HHPs use in agriculture such as agro-ecology, organic farming was currently well advanced in many African countries, but less emphasized or promoted in Nigeria.
He explained that less attention to organic farming in Nigeria was because the existing and enabling policy frameworks were insufficient and not specific enough to support the growth of organic or ecological farming in Nigeria.
“Nigeria has no comprehensive policies in place to fund, implement or promote research as well as the practice into organic farming, agro=ecology or any other sustainable agricultural strategy.
“Regulations remain out of step with standards in leading export markets such as the EU.
“Enforcement of existing regulation is poor and alternatives to high pesticide use are unexplored “Finally, Standards & Certification of organic food products are not in place to encourage export and competitiveness in the growing international market,” Adogame said.
He added that the need for organic Agriculture Standard was imperative.
The National Environmental Standard Regulation and Enforcement Agency (NESREA) says the mining sector will play a significant role in the Federal Government’s efforts to diversify and develop the nation’s economy.
The Coordinator of NESREA in Enugu state, Mr Pele Egbagiri, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Enugu on Wednesday.
According to him, the large deposits of solid minerals across the nation are yet to be tapped.
He said that solid minerals like coal, gold tin, steal and others, when fully explored, would boost the nation’s economy and contribute significantly to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).
The coordinator said that investment in the mining sector was key and the only way to rescue Nigeria from operating a monoeconomy which would seriously affected the nation’s economy.
He urged the Federal Government to urgently design a comprehensive investment plan to explore the nation’s mining sector through massive investment in the solid minerals deposited in large amount across the country.
Egbagiri noted that illegal mining had become a recurring decimal that was capable of undermining the nation’s economy.
“It is not only prevalent in a particular state but rather it has become a common phenomenon in this nation.
“For instance,in Enugu State, with a huge deposit of coal, the federal government has abandoned coal mining leaving it for hoodlums who have engaged in the illegal mining of this very important solid mineral that is capable of giving power to the entire south east and beyond.
“These illegal miners engage in illegal business without considering the environmental hazards associated with unprofessional mining of coal.
“Their only interest is to make quick money at the detriment of the nation’s economy which is spent on a daily basis,” he said.
He said that the environmental hazards associated with mining activities in Enugu state were enormous and should be condemned in all ramifications.
The coordinator said that coal mining was known to be a very delicate process especially when mined in an unprofessional manner.
He listed the hazards associated with illegal coal mining to include landslide, earthquake and the emission of poisonous gas from the mining sites.
Egbagiri said that on several occasions,miners had lost their lives in the process.
“Most times they are buried alive, especially when necessary precautionary measures are not applied or strictly adhered to”.
The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, NESREA, has handed over 25 exotic birds to Kano Zoological and Wildlife Management Agency.
During the handing over at the zoo in Kano on Friday, the Northwest Zonal Director of NESREA, Mudassir Raheem, said the birds were smuggled into the country through Niger Republic and seized by Nigeria customs Service and handed over to the enforcement agency.
Raheem thanked Kano-Jigawa command of the Nigerian Customs Service on behalf of the Director General of NESREA, Prof Aliyu Jauro, for confiscating the birds.
The director, who expressed happiness for the synergy between the two government agencies, called for more collaboration, to improve the country’s security network.
He then urged Nigerian customs to hand over the offender for subsequent prosecution.
According to him, the Kano Zoological Garden would serve as custodian of the birds.
The Managing Director, Kano Zoological Garden, Malam Lawal Kofarmata, commended the effort of Nigeria Customs Service and NESREA fo an “excellent” job.
He also commended the agencies for their commitment in discharging their responsibilities.
The Director, Wildlife of the garden, Muhammad Danjuma, promised to take good care of the exotic animals.
Danjuma called on people in the state to complement government’s efforts by reporting unpatriotic Nigerians engaged in smuggling wild animals to neighboring countries.
The Federal Government says it is worried over illegal mining activities in the country and reiterates its commitment to prosecute people who fail to comply with extant environmental laws.
The Director-General, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Prof. Aliyu Jauro, made this known while briefing newsmen on the agency`s activities on Thursday in Abuja.
Jauro said NESREA was saddled with the responsibility of enforcing all environmental laws, guidelines, policies, standards and regulations in the country.
He said the agency also prohibited the processes and use of equipment or technology that undermined environmental quality.
Jauro said the agency had recently been inundated with several complaints on the resurgence of the activities of artisanal miners in the country.
He said the situation had raised fears of degradation of the environment, destruction of farmlands and contamination of water sources, especially the Osun River.
The NESREA boss said such mining activities were not new in the area because the state is sited on a schist-belt that is richly endowed with mineral resources such as gold, tourmaline, tantalite, among others.
He said that the sites, however, attracted the artisanal miners, adding that the river also played important roles in the area.
“The river is a key source of water for humans, plants and animals within the area, and it has international interest because it passes through the Osun-Osogbo sacred grove.
“The area is designated as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Site. “Indeed, the river is reputed for its cultural, religious and economic significance,’’ he said.
The director-general said that the agency had carried out sensitisation workshops for artisanal miners drawn from different parts of the state.
He said the miners were enlightened on the effects of the activities on human health and environment and were encouraged to carry out their activities in a more environmentally sound manner.
Jauro said that a total of 300 full kits of personal protective equipment were distributed to the miners after the workshop.
“According to him, following the recent reports, the agency has intensified its compliance monitoring of the affected areas which revealed a large presence of Chinese miners.
“The Chinese miners with the aid of excavators and related equipment, mine and wash the minerals along or close to river courses.
“There is also high activity of artisanal miners who scavenge surface minerals at abandoned mine pits and wash them in nearby rivers, most of which flow into the river.
“The river has become more turbid with reddish coloration from the disturbance of mining and washing into the rivers,’’ he said.
Jauro said the situation was worrisome since the cultural practices at the Osun grove required contact with the water and people also use the water daily in their homes.
He said that the agency had conducted investigation which the water and soil were collected for laboratory analysis to determine the level of pollution of the activities.
“When the investigation is concluded, the provisions of the National Environmental Mining and Processing of coal, ores and industrial minerals Regulations, 2009 will be invoked against those involved in the activities.
“This will definitely mean that perpetrators will have their facilities sealed and they will be charged to court for environmental violation.
“As citizens, we have very important roles to play in protecting the environment and the agency continually educates Nigerians on the agency’s roles and responsibilities.
Jauro, however, urged Nigerians to support the government to ensure a cleaner and healthier environment.
NEThe National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) said it would partner with OXFAM and Connected Development (CODE) on achieving net zero, climate change and challenges in oil-bearing communities.
Prof. Aliyu Jauro, Director-General, NESREA said this in Abuja when the Civil Society Organisations paid an advocacy visit to the agency in Abuja .
Jauro said that the agency had a set of regulations targeted at controlling ecosystem challenges like wetland, river banks and lake shores to ensure that whatever was done did not impact on the environment negatively.
He added that there were also regulations on coastal and marine area protection, surface and ground water quality control, soil erosion and flood control, among others, to ensure good environment and tackle climate change.
He stressed the need for companies to abide by the guidelines of NESREA to curb environmental hazards and for communities to benefit from extractive resources.
“You mentioned the National Action Plan as the guiding principle, which talks about how companies do their business in relationship to the issue of human rights.
“There is what is called the Environmental Impact Assessment which requires the incorporation of social components and they are all issues of human rights; so there is need for companies to abide by these regulations in whatever they do .
” There is also the corporate social responsibilities guideline, these are the only ways we can reduce inequality which is very high in West Africa as it is mentioned that the entire wealth of West Africa is in the hands of one per cent of the population.
“This is because there is need to have a certain level of equality.
In some developed countries, they found a way of taxing such rich people to bring equality to the system, so there is need for Nigeria to try and see how it could reduce the inequality gap.
”Jauro said that the agency would collaborate with the CSOs to see how it could drive some of its policies and ensure companies abided by the guidelines, adding that it was the only way to reduce inequality.
Mr Henry Ushie, Project Coordinator, Fiscal Accountability for Inequality Reduction OXFAM, said that the CSOs were advocating for communities and countries to be environment conscious in terms of climate change adaptation and resilience .
Ushie said that there was a new project launched in collaboration with CODE and OXFAM aimed to see how climate change could be mainstreamed into all conversations and brought to light .
“We want to see how communities can also play their role in keeping their environment clean.
“The government made commitment to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly referred to as COP26 in 2021 to go net zero by 2060, 10 yeats ahead of the global commitment.
“So we want to see how agencies like NESREA and NOSDRA are making concrete effort in terms of policy and practice to get to that point where we are able to say ‘yes’, we are net zero.
”He said that CODE’s Follow the Money initiative to track funds at the grassroots would play its role to track such expenditure on whether it was being targeted at reducing climate injustice, or promoting and ensuring the judicious use of the funds.
Mr Hamzat Lawal, Chief Executive of CODE, said that as CSO leaders, it was important to explore ways to collaborate with government because governments served the people and CSOs served the interests of the people.
Lawal said that CODE was leading a campaign in collaboration with OXFAM to look at how the Nationa Action Plan (NAP) on Business and Human Rights would be implemented.
” We know that in exploration across Nigeria, there have been incidents on human rights; today we are meeting with government regulators and investigative agency to call their attention to this.
” Most importantly, it is to explore how we can collaborate with them to rebuild trust, particularly in engaging communities where these resources are domiciled.
”Lawal said the advocacy visit was also aimed at engaging the government on its preparedness for COP27 in Egypt in terms of policy implementation , results, lessons and how Nigeria could overcome the challenges.
The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), has handed over 73 parrots to the Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF), for rehabilitation and reintegration into the forest.
Its Director-General, Prof. Aliyu Jauro, said in Kano on Thursday at the handing over that operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service seized the parrots from traffickers.
He was represented by NESREA’s Zonal Director in Kano, Mr Abdulraheem Mudashiru.
He explained that the birds were seized in June as the traffickers were smuggling them out of the country and were kept at the Kano Zoo. “After seizing the birds, they were handed over to NESREA which took them to Kano Zoological Gardens for proper care.
“NESREA subsequently received another directive that the parrots be handed over to the NCF,’’ he added.
He explained further that 100 parrots were actually seized, but two died before getting to the zoo.
He added that 25 of the remaining 98 parrots were donated to the Kano Zoo and to Gombe State.
The director-general said that the agency would continue to collaborate with relevant agencies to fight against illegal trade and trafficking in wild animals.
In his remarks, outgoing NCF, Director-General, Dr Mukhtar Aminu-Kano, said the birds would be taken to Lagos, where there is a competent facility for the rehabilitation of such wildlife.
“They would be properly looked after there and be monitored to make sure that their feathers grow back and they become healthy enough to fly around to survive in the wild.
“It is only when we are sure of that that they can be taken to the forests.
“Parrots are not domiciled in the Savannah; they are not domiciled in the northern parts of Nigeria; they need to be taken to their natural habitat.
“We shall ensure that they are taken to protective forests where they will no longer be poached,’’ he said.
In his remarks, the Director, Wildlife, Kano State, Alhaji Muhammad Danjuma-Ado, thanked NESREA for giving it the custody of the parrots.