The Federal Government said that no fewer than 269 companies, operating environmental-related services, were sealed over violation of environmental regulations, just as it conducted environmental compliance monitoring on more than 8,122 corporate facilities between 2012 and 2022.
It explained that the action by its agency on environmental regulation , National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) was necessary to keep standards and maintain world best practices as regards environment compliance across Nigeria.
The Director-General, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Prof. Aliyu Jauro, disclosed that between 2012 and 2022, the agency conducted environmental compliance monitoring as provided for in the national regulations to more than 8,122 corporate facilities.
He said stated that the agency carried out numerous compliance monitoring and enforcement exercises across 36 states of the country, with many facilities being sealed for violating provisions of environmental laws.
Addressing newsmen on National Environmental Compliance Award (NECA) in Abuja, on Friday, Prof. Jauro said that in the course of carrying out its mandates, himself and his team discovered that some facilities were assiduously working hard to comply with the regulations on environment and that operators of the companies have succeeded in promoting best practices and adopting sustainability in their operations.
The director-general stated that his office had developed and gazetted 35 environmental regulations across the different sector of the economy since its inception, with the regulations serving as a benchmark for the compliance monitoring activities of the agency.
To him, the agency was never quick to sanction facilities, rather it ensured that it issues notices of compliance concerns and abatement notices after compliance monitoring visits to the facilities.
“It is only when these facilities refuse to comply with the provisions of the notification of compliance concerns and after numerous visits that the agency goes ahead to sanction them.
“The agency encourages voluntary compliance, hence, the very rigorous steps it takes before any facility is sanctioned for non–compliance,’’ he noted.
Speaking on rewarding notable individuals and partners, who have contributed positively to their surroundings, the director-general indicated that the agency would be giving awards to 17 facilities in different sectors, for complying with the regulations, standards, and guidelines set out in the NESREA Act.
He explained that the essence of the award is to encourage the facilities which have been working hard in ensuring that they comply with the agency`s regulations and guidelines.
He hinted that rating of the facilities was done based on possession of certified environmental documentation, current permits, adoption and installation of efficient pollution abatement equipment, and corporate social responsibilities, among others.
He said that the event would be chaired by President, Muhammadu Buhari who would as well present the awards.
According to him, “these awards, we believe, will re-awaken the consciousness of the regulated community on the need for compliance with environmental regulations and thereby join in the efforts being made towards sustainable development.
“Adopting the best environmental practices has become even more important at this time that efforts are on to curb carbon and green house gas emissions to achieve a healthier environment and mitigate the impact of climate change.
“It has been the dream of the agency to see NECA come to life, because while sanctioning facilities which have committed environmental offences, it is also important to reward those who have done well in upholding the provisions of environmental regulations.”
Jauro, however, urged the relevant stakeholders to continue with the good work of sensitising the public on environmental issues to ensure a healthy environment.
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