The lingering confusion in certain quarters over whose prerogative it is to issue EIA certificate has once again been laid to rest by the Federal Government. The federal government has reiterated that it is its responsibility through the Federal Ministry of Environment (FMEnv) to issue EIA certificates, and in essence, that state governments or their agents have no business meddling in the process of issuance of EIA certificates.
The latest clarification was made by the Minister of Environment, Hajia Amina Mohammed, on Monday November 28, 2016 on the sidelines of the 7th National Regulatory Dialogue on the implementation of national environmental regulations organised by the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) in Abuja.
The regulatory dialogue, an annual round table event between the agency (NESREA) and various stakeholders in the environment sector, seeks to promote harmony and cooperation among regulatory agencies at the federal and state levels, provide a platform for information sharing, identify factors that impede national environmental laws, strategise on the way forward, and make concrete recommendations to assist the Agency in achieving its mandate of ensuring a cleaner and healthier for Nigerians.
The minister who was represented at the regulatory dialogue by the Director-General, NESREA, Dr. Lawrence Anukam, canvassed for closer cooperation between NESREA and officials of state environmental agencies/authorities rather than unhealthy rivalry. She also advised state officials to refrain from undermining federal laws and regulations especially as regards the EIA process which is regulated by the Environmental Impact Assessment Act Cap E12 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
What is EIA?
Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA is a detailed process that identifies potential impacts of a developmental project and ensures that environmental concerns are incorporated into any project planning, design and execution. It is a critical tool for sustainable development that equips decision makers with the needed tool to make the decisions which ensure both economic development and environmental protection.
Watch out for our forthcoming in-depth analysis of the EIA process in Nigeria, powdered by wastesmart.org