Lawmakers Investigate Non-Adherence To Environmental Standards

Channels Television  
Updated August 2, 2014

Environment-hazard in Nigeria

Federal lawmakers in the Senate and the House of Representatives have gone on a long recess, but pockets of activities are still going on in the national assembly.

The House of Representatives committee on environment is investigating the impact of non-adherence of some agencies to environmental standards in their operations.

But the investigative hearing did not get off well, as a vital member of an agency lawmakers were to interrogate was absent.

An investigative meeting between the committee and Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) was stalled Thursday as a result of failure by the Director General of the agency, Mr Patrick Akpobolokemi, to appear before the committee and failure by the agency also to submit the relevant documents despite a three weeks notice.

The House Committee on Environment therefore gave the NIMASA three working days, till Tuesday August 5, to submit to it relevant documents pertaining to environmental impact management, environmental audit, and certificates for all projects carried out by the agency from 2012 till date.

The Chairman of the committee, Uche Ekwunife, said the agency’s action was a waste of legislative hours and a show of negligence on a sensitive issue such as environmental hazards and threat to human life.

The three-man team from the maritime agency led by the Director of Marine environment, Mr Moses Adewale, could not satisfactorily answer to the committee’s interrogation on the whereabouts of the Director General and why he was absent at the meeting despite the notice.

The committee members expressed disenchantment over what they tagged gross negligence on the part of the agency, saying the DG cannot have any other engagement more important than the meeting with parliament.

Consequent upon submissions by committee members, Ekwunife said the meeting would be rescheduled.

She gave the team until Tuesday morning to submit all relevant documents as well as for the DG to make an appearance before the committee.