Kogi government, private sector to upgrade environmental health officers

Kogi Government said on Thursday that it has plans to partner with health practitioners in the private sector for the training of its Environmental Health Officers (EHOs). Mr. Robert Achanya, Director-General of the state Bureau for Public Private Partnership (BPPP) disclosed this at a news conference in Lokoja.

He said the partnership would boost the capacity of the EHOs, get registered and certificated to enable them inspect premises according to the law for enhanced service delivery.

He said many of the EHOs in the state could not enforce environmental laws or carryout inspection of premises because they were not registered or licensed.

The director-general said that so far, there were only four registered and licensed environmental health officers in the state, saying that the development is not healthy.

He, however, stressed that the partnership does not mean that the state government is contemplating privatization of the health sector.

Also speaking, Mrs. Rosemary Oshikoya, the Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, said the state government had no plan to lay-off EHOs or outsource their job through such partnership.She said that the threat by EHOs to embark on industrial action over the matter is uncalled for.

According to her, the state Waste Management Board Law 2013 and the enabling BPPP law 2014, empower the state to engage the Bureau in the environmental health sector.