Nigeria reviews guidelines to enhance environmental assessment

The Federal Government says it is developing 15 new environmental guidelines by revising the existing ones and validating them into world class document to enhance environmental assessment in the country.

Alhaji Ibrahim Jibril, the Minister of State of the Federal Ministry of Environment, who disclosed this in Abuja, was represented by Dr Shehu Ahmed, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry at a national stakeholders meeting.

The meeting of the National Stakeholders Validation Workshop has as its theme: the Production of New Environmental Guidelines and Revision of Existing Ones’’.

Jibril said that the review and the revision of the existing guidelines would come up with world class documents that would enhance environmental assessment.

He said that the development would also ensure conformity with international standard in view of the dynamic nature of the nation’s environment.

He said that the government on Dec. 10, 1992, promulgated Decree No. 86, which was known as Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Act Cap E12 LFN 2004.

He said the Act was made mandatory that EIA study would be carried out for all new major development projects.

He said that the Act should be regulating, implementing, coordinating, monitoring, and certifying environmental permits in the country.

It is therefore important to remind Nigerians that this EIA Act has been in operation in the country for the past two decades and as such a number of gaps have been identified. As a result of this, the ministry is currently reviewing the Act and deems it necessary to develop the new guidelines and revised the existing ones. The guidelines under review are derived from the existing EIA Act that did not adequately address the global emerging environmental issues such as strategic environmental assessment and incorporate climate smart decisions,’’ he said.

The minister said that the workshop would harmonise all inputs from all the stakeholders, incorporate it into a world class document and validate it for the use in the environmental assessment sector.

Jibril, however, appealed to all the participants to actively contribute positively to enable them achieve effective guidelines that could cover the set mandates of the ministry.

Mr John Alonge, the Director, Department of EIA, said that the review and the revision of the existing guidelines would help the ministry to fulfill its obligations in the country.

Alonge said that the review would also help to address effectively environmental challenges both in Nigeria and globally.

He noted that the new guidelines would be available in the ministry`s website when they would be ready for implementation.

 

Mazino Dickson