Have you ever come across the word NESREA and wondered what it is about? We’ve got your back. We bring you 9 basic facts about NESREA, one of the most important environmental regulators and players in environmental management in Nigeria!
NESREA: Full meaning
NESREA is an acronym for “National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency”. It is Nigeria’s top environment watchdog. If you like, it is Nigeria’s equivalent of the iconic United States of America’s EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), and related agencies in other countries.
If you call NESREA, Nigeria’s Environmental Police, or Federal Environmental Marshals, you would be correct. The Agency is the enforcement arm of the Federal Ministry of Environment
During environmental emergencies, environmental pollution etc., the foremost agency of Government to call upon for prompt and effective action is NESREA. There are NESREA Zonal and Field Offices across the geo-political zones and States of the country. Avail yourself of the one closest to you.
NESREA Establishment Act
NESREA was established by the NESREA (Establishment) Act which was passed by the National Assembly and signed into law by then President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and published in the Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette No. 92. Vol. 94 of 31st July, 2007.
The Agency, thus, derives its powers as spelt out in its establishment Act.
Functions of NESREA
Primarily, the functions of NESREA as a strategic agency of government in Nigeria’s environment sector can be subsumed under five core functions: as an environmental regulator, environmental operator, job creator, environmental capacity builder and environmental advisor.
The Agency, a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Environment (its parent ministry), is empowered by Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to enforce ALL environmental laws, guidelines, policies, standards and regulations in Nigeria. It also has power to “prohibit processes and the use of equipment or technology that undermine environment quality” in Nigeria.
The Agency also has clearly defined powers to “enforce compliance with provisions of international agreements, protocols, conventions, and treaties that Nigeria is a signatory.
NESREA is committed to ecosystem conservation, pollution control, environmental education, sustainable waste management, environmental awareness; research, collaborations, partnerships, environmental information management system; and environmental compliance monitoring and enforcement.
The Agency is charged with the enforcement of all environmental laws except in the oil and gas sector which is currently the responsibility of a sister agency, NOSDRA. Amongst NESREA’s most important functions is enforcing and ensuring that there is an EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) for every developmental project. In line with the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) Act, a valid EIS certificate is issued for every developmental project by the Federal Ministry of Environment at the end of the EIA process.
NESREA: Vision and Mission
“To ensure a cleaner and healthier environment for Nigerians.”
“To inspire personal and collective responsibility in building an environmentally conscious society for the achievement of sustainable development in Nigeria.”
NESREA has responsibility for the protection and development of the environment, biodiversity conservation and sustainable development of Nigeria’s natural resources in general and environmental technology including coordination, and liaison with, relevant stakeholders within and outside Nigeria on matters of enforcement of environmental standards, regulations, rules, laws, policies and guidelines.
NESREA Top Management
NESREA is headed by a Director General (DG)/Chief Executive Officer who oversees its day-to-day activities.
The Agency’s current DG/CEO is Dr. Lawrence Chidi Anukam, a renowned environmentalist who holds a PhD in Applied Geography (Natural Resources Management) from the Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada, and a Certificate in Strategic Management of Regulatory and Enforcement Agencies from the Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
NESREA DG/CEO is assisted by a top management Staff of seven: Director Planning and Policy Analysis; Director Inspection and Enforcement; Director, Partnership and Education; Director, Environmental Quality Control; Director Administration and Finance; Legal Adviser; and Director, Special Duties.
As required by law, the Agency is supervised by a Governing Council which is saddled with the responsibility of policy making and administration of the Agency. The Governing Board, in turn, reports to the Honourable Minister of Environment.
The immediate past Honourable Minister of Environment is Haija Amina Mohammed, who resigned in from the Federal Executive Council on the 24th of February 2017, 2017 in order to take up a new appointment as the current Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations (UN). In place of a substantive Minister of Environment who is yet to be appointed by the President, Muhammadu Buhari, the Honourable Minister of State for Environment, Mallam Ibrahim Usman Jibril supervises NESREA, and her parent ministry, the Federal Ministry of Environment.
NESREA Official contact
Twitter handle: @NESREANigeria
National, Zonal and State Offices of NESREA
National Headquarters is situated at:
4 Oro-Ago Crescent, Off Mohammed Buhari Way, Garki- Abuja.
NESREA Offices nation-wide
The Agency currently has 6 Zonal Offices in the six geo-political zones of the country and Field Offices in 24 States across the Federation.
|Zonal Offices||State Offices|
|1.||North-Central (1): Jos, Plateau||Benue, Kwara, Nassarawa, Niger and Plateau (5)
|2.||North-East (1): Gombe, Gombe State||Borno and Gombe (2)
|3.||North-West (1): Kano, Kano State||Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi and Sokoto (5)
|4.||South-East (1): Owerri, Imo State||Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo (4)
|5.||South-South (1): Port Harcourt, Rivers State||Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Rivers (3)
|6.||South-West (1): Ibadan, Oyo State||Ekiti, Lagos, Ondo, Osun and Oyo (5)|
*NESREA also has National Environmental Reference Laboratories in Kano and Rivers State.
*Plans are underway to establish Field Offices in States
NESREA Working Tools: National Environmental Regulations
Thirty three (33) National Environmental Regulations that cut across the various sectors of the Nigeria economy and areas of ecological interests have so far been developed by the Federal Government of Nigeria through NESREA and the Federal Ministry of Environment. These National Environmental Regulations have been published in the Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette and are now operational. One of the new regulations being considered is on management of healthcare wastes across Nigeria.
Running afoul of any provisions of these gazetted National Environmental Regulations is a criminal offense that can be prosecuted by the Attorney General of the Federation. Ignorance of the Law has never been an excuse. If you own or run a company whose activities could likely impact on the environment, it is advisable you get familiar with each of these regulations, particularly as they relate to the sector(s) you operate in. Copies of each of the regulations are available for sale at all Zonal and State Offices of the Agency.
The Agency has also put in place a number of other guidelines on various aspects of environmental management in Nigeria including, the EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) policy.
- Written by: Idowu Kunlere.
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