We Are Prepared For Heavy Rains – Oyo Govt.

We Are Prepared For Heavy Rains – Oyo Govt.The Oyo State Government has assured residents and citizens of the state that necessary machinery has been put in place to ensure that there is no flooding in the state this rainy season.

The government also assured the people of its commitment to preventing natural disasters in the state in South-west Nigeria.

Oyo State Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr Isaac Ishola, stated this while receiving members of the National Environment Standard and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) in his office.

Mr Ishola, who said the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NHSA) has listed the state among others that will experience heavy downpour in 2017, promised that government will continue to ensure a clean and safe environment.

“The State Government has embarked on sensitisation programmes, and dredging of rivers and streams have started in preparation for the heavy rains. Our administration is responsive and we attach seriousness to the business of governance.

“We also have respect for the sanctity of human lives and this is why we have put necessary machinery in motion to prepare for the heavy rains,” he explained.

The Commissioner noted that the efforts of NESREA in the environmental sustainability cannot be overemphasised, adding that the present administration in the state is working earnestly to ensure a sustainable and clean environment attractive to the investors.

He stated that two Mobile Environmental Tribunal Courts, already approved by the government, sit on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, as well as the State Waste Management Authority to prosecute sanitation offenders.

Ishola, however, said prosecuting offenders is not to place hardship nor to increase revenue, but to ensure compliance with the State Environmental Sanitation and Waste Management Regulations.

In his remarks, the Oyo State Coordinator of NESREA, Mr Obagiri Durotimi, said his visit to the Ministry was to introduce himself officially and to synergise with the Ministry to ensure environmental sustainability.

He noted that environmental issue is a collective responsibility for every individual.

Pollution: Agency Indicts Two Steel Companies In Osun At House Briefing

Climate-Change-polutionThe National Environmental Standard and Regulatory Enforcement Agency (NESREA) says two iron and steel companies operating in Osun State have failed to comply substantially with environmental rules and regulations.

The Zonal Director of the Agency, Mr Adeleke Ajani, indicted the two companies on Tuesday, while addressing the Osun State House of Assembly, following complaints of environmental pollution levelled against the company by some residents of Ife North and Ifelodun Local Government Areas of the state.

Mr Adeleke, who revealed that his Agency had on several occasions written letters of concern to the companies over the harmful effects their operation is having on the environment and the people, said the steel companies had also failed in fulfilling their corporate social responsibilities.

“We are not satisfied with the operations of the two iron and steel companies at Ikirun and Ife. We have written not less than 15 letter of concern to both companies, stating our displeasure with their operations,” he told the lawmakers.

He said no Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was carried out before the establishment of the factories, an action which according to him violates the law.

“The companies were established at their present locations without any Environmental Impact Assessment, which is why they were not issued Environmental Impact Statement.

“NESREA as a regulatory body, is an anti-graft agency and everything we do, we have to take cognisance of the fact that every enforcement action will end in court and so we make sure that we give enough concern letters to the affected establishment,” he explained.

While reacting to the claims of the NESREA’s boss and the complaints of the host communities, the personnel managers of the Ife Steel and Iron Company, Oluwanisola Adeleke, maintained that the emissions coming out of the factory was within the permissible limit.

“We have the best emission control technology in Nigeria. So, I was surprised to see Channels TV crew three weeks ago, about the complaints of the people of the area.

“The technology we have in our facility today is capturing above 85% emission and the world standard is just around 70 to 75%”

They explained that they were mindful of the welfare of the people living in the areas and the environment, claims, which members of the House described as complete lies moulded to mislead the public.

At the end of the plenary, the Speaker of the House, Honourable Najeem Salaam, stated that the state might truly be looking for investors to boost its Internally Generated Revenue, but not at the expense of its citizens.

“In as much as we want industrialists to come to Osun and build industries, we value the lives and well-being of people and under no circumstances will we trade the lives of our people for industrial gains.

“We will deliberate on it and pass our resolution soon,” ‎Honourable Salaam added.

FG To Ban Felling Of Trees To Avert Desertification

Felling of Trees, Desertification, The Federal Government is working towards putting a ban on felling of trees as a means of addressing the challenge of desertification in Nigeria.

The Minister of Environment, Mrs Amina Mohammed, announced the plan on Wednesday at a public forum on desertification and deforestation organised by the European Union.

Mrs Mohammed laments that about 1.5 million trees are cut daily in Nigeria, thereby creating room for desert encroachment.

On his part, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, hinted that the Senate was considering a bill to improve forestry in Nigeria.

At an earlier event to flag-off the ‘Keep Kaduna Green Project’, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed worry that Nigeria has the highest rate of deforestation in the world in spite of campaigns against such acts.

Restore The Environment

The President was represented by the Environment Minister at the event designed to plant one million trees annually in Kaduna State.

He pointed out that over 576 million trees were lost annually due to deforestation, adding that the situation had led to the increased rate of desertification, flooding and drought in some parts of Nigeria.

Environmental Auditors, AFROSAI, Implementation

President Buhari feared that with the upsurge in the rate of deforestation, the Federal Government’s effort to achieve the forest cover and restore the environment by 25% might be a tall dream.

Paid For Growing Trees 

In another development, the Federal Ministry of Environment reiterated its commitment to forestry development with a view to checkmate the effects of climate change in Nigeria.

The Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibrin, stressed the importance of agriculture and forestry to national economy and security.

He also expressed concern over the negative destruction of the nation’s forests which he said had led to numerous environmental challenges.

Mr Jibrin called on farmers and other stakeholders to come up with solutions on how to combat climate change and deforestation in Nigeria.

If Nigeria could enact a law that would proscribe felling of trees, the nation could be added to the list of countries getting paid for keeping their forests.

Over eight countries get the REDD+ (Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) funds.

REDD+ is the UN led mechanism which helps countries earn dollars by not cutting trees and saving carbon dioxide in forests.

Environmental experts estimate that if a nation upholds deforestation and also plant new trees, it can earn $4 – 12 billion

Buhari Decries Rate Of Deforestation In Nigeria

deforestation, Tree Planting, KadunaPresident Muhammadu Buhari has expressed worry that Nigeria has the highest rate of deforestation in the world in spite of campaigns against such acts.

The President made the remark at the flag-off ceremony of the Keep Kaduna Green Project, designed to plant one million trees annually in the state.

Represented by the Minister of Environment, Mrs Amina Mohammed, President Buhari pointed out that over 576 million trees are lost in the country annually due to deforestation.

He said that this situation has led the increased rate of desertification, flooding and drought in some parts of the country.

President Buhari feared that with the growing deforestation in the country, the effort of the federal government to achieve the forest cover and restore the environment by 25% might be a tall dream.

He commended the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai for the initiative which he said would go a long way in combating illegal felling of trees and restoring the green environment in the state.

On his part, Governor Nasir El-Rufai said that the project, apart from restoring the environment, will also create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths in the state.

Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba and his Kebbi State counterpart, Atiku Bagudu were among the dignitaries who planted trees to flag off the Keep Kaduna Clean Project, with a determination to replicate same in their states.

According to environmental experts, Nigeria has one of the world’s highest rate of deforestation of primary forests, where more than 50% of such forests have been lost in the past decades through unsustainable logging.

These practices contribute to the environmental challenges such as erosion, flooding, desertification among others.

An estimated 1.3 billion people, or nearly 20% of the world’s population, rely on forests and forest products for their daily activities.

Stakeholders say the plan by the Kaduna State government to plant one million trees should be a project that should be keyed into by states and local government if the country must tackle erosion, flooding and other environmental challenges.

Meanwhile, the Director General of National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Dr Lawrence Anukam says the agency will deal with companies, organizations or individuals that degrade the environment through their operations.

This measures according to him is to mitigate all forms of environmental challenges in the country.

Experts Kick Against Wild Life Trafficking In Nigeria

Wild- PangolinExperts in Environmental and Wild Life Preservation across the world have kicked against wild life trafficking in the African continent especially in Nigeria.

The concern was part of the groups’ consensus at the 2016 World Pangolin Day which was held at the University of Ibadan’s Zoological Gardens on Saturday.

The programme, which was jointly put together by several stakeholders including IITA, University of Ibadan, the US and French embassies, NESREA and Local Hunters, sought to prevent further depletion and consequent extinction of the Pangolin in Nigeria, Africa and Asia where they are found.

The Pangolin, also known as ‘Akika’ in Yoruba, is a scaly animal with tremendous financial and medicinal potential which produces only one offspring per year.

The scales of a Pangolin have the most extraordinary features – they are extremely hard, calibrated serving as a cocoon of sort for the flesh, protecting it from preys and predators.

The hard exterior, however, has not been enough to protect Pangolin from poachers and hunters, who see it only as a special delicacy that must be hunted down.

The US government’s representative, Mr Nicholas Austin, said that there was need for constant and sustained dialogue, not only for Pangolin, but to discourage wild life trafficking in Nigeria.

The Head of IITA Forest Unit, Dr. Deni Brown, also opined that more serious efforts must be put into wild life conservation in Nigeria, as the country loses a lot of income to poachers and local hunters who only kill them for meat.

It is also worrisome to note that the Zoological Garden in the University of Ibadan, which hosted the event, does not have Pangolin to show participants at the event.

Recently, a container load of Pangolin scales and fresh elephant tusks which was loaded from Lagos and worth $1.3 million, was intercepted at Singapore.

Nigeria Customs Destroy Cartons Of Turkey Worth Over 30mln Naira

Nigeria CustomsThe Federal Operations Unit Zone C of the Nigeria Customs Service has impounded and destroyed 4,635 cartoons of frozen turkey chicken with cumulative duty paid value of 30,000, 595 Naira.

Conducting reporters round the seizure at the Abia/Imo command headquarters of the FOU Zone C in Owerri, the Imo State capital, the Area Comptroller of the Zone, Mr Victor Dimka, said that two suspects have been arrested in connection with the seizures and would be taken to court for further prosecution.

He warned all smugglers and would-be smugglers to desist from such heinous crime as the Nigeria Customs Service are committed to ensuring that smuggling is totally eradicated in the country.

The Area Comptroller said that the suspects were apprehended along Calabar axis as a result of the intelligent information gathered by his men who were determined to wipe out smuggling from Nigeria.

The customs boss further led a team of customs officials, officials of the SSS, NAFDAC and NESREA to the site where the frozen turkey chicken were being destroyed.

Some of the officials of the NESREA, who witnessed the destruction, advised the general public to stop consuming foreign frozen foods because the preservation chemicals were dangerous to human health.

NESREA Impounds German Vessel Laden With Electronic Waste

The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) has arrested a vessel alleged to be carrying containers of electronic waste.

According to the agency, the vessel M.V Euro cargo Saleno from Germany had three crew members on board before its arrest in Lagos.

Although the vessel is alleged to contain refrigerators, the Lagos state coordinator of NESREA, Eunice Eze, explained that the agency is yet to ascertain the exact content of the vessel.

NESREA re-seals station base opened by NCC

The face-off between the Nigerian Environmental Standard and Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA) and the Nigerian Communication Commission(NCC) over the sealing of a telecom base station in Abuja is far from over.

Director In charge of Inspection And Enforcement, Mrs Oluronke Soyombo has vowed that the telecommunications company must pay five million naira sanction fee and penalty fee of fifty thousand naira daily for not paying as at when due .

Leading officials to the site to re-seal the base station, the NESREA official maintained that NESREA is not meddling in the affairs of the NCC vowing that it would continue to seal off the base station until the matter is properly resolved.

NESREA insists that the telecom company must comply with the environmental standards of 10-metre setback from residential areas. However at the site, Director of Inspection and Enforcement, Mrs Oluronke Soyombo denied any knowledge of who unsealed the facility and vowed that legal action will be taken against those who broke the seal.

“My concern is that I had put a seal here two weeks ago and it has been removed, and I am here to seal it off again”.

“We are going to charge them to court and it is in the court that they will tell us who unsealed what we had earlier sealed off”.

“I am here for my routine inspection and discovered that they have removed the seal we had put and I want to assure you that nobody came to asked us why we decided to do what we did”.

“I think they have erred and they must pay a N5 million fine; our lawyers have been contacted”.

“The Act that enacted NESREA has given us the responsibility to ensure a healthy and clean environment for all Nigerians and you can see yourself how close the base station is to residential buildings.”

NCC warns NESREA on usurping its responsibilities

The Nigeria Communications Commission has warned the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) to stop meddling in the regulation of the telecoms industry.

NESREA shut down a telecom base station of a GSM operator in Abuja on grounds that it was not captured in the recent environmental audit of base station and failed to meet the environmental standards of 10meter setback from residential areas.

But the head of Compliance Monitoring of the commission, Mr. Ephraim Nwokenneya who led an enforcement team to unseal the telecom base station said NESREA action is a violation of existing regulations that require just 5 meters.

He said NESREA is only an enforcement agency while the Nigeria Communications Commission is the only regulatory body for the telecom industry and will not tolerate any interference in the discharge of its mandate.

The commission says there is a dearth of infrastructure in the industry and shutting down base stations indiscriminately results to severe drop in quality of service which has been on the rise recently. The commission said any agency who has information about a breach of regulations should lodge its complaints with the communications commission to investigate and enforce compliance.

NESREA Commences Training for Officers

The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency has commenced training for officers who will be engaged in the implementation of the national environmental regulations.
At the opening of a risk assessment workshop in Abuja, the director general of NESREA, Dr. Ngeri Benebo said that the agency will fully implement the 24 regulations, which cuts across all sectors.
Dr. Benebo said that training will equip the officials witht he skills to conduct investigations and collate data on environmental risks to avoid disasters.

Nigeria: Environmental agency commences training for officers

The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency has commenced training for officers who will be engaged in the implementation of the national environmental regulations.

At the opening of a risk assessment workshop in Abuja, the director general of NESREA, Dr. Ngeri Benebo said that the agency will fully implement the 24 regulations, which cuts across all sectors.

Dr. Benebo said that training will equip the officials witht he skills to conduct investigations and collate data on environmental risks to avoid disasters.