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We sealed 160 facilities in three years – NESREA

The National Environmental Standards Regulatory Agency (NESREA) says it has sealed 160 facilities across the country from 2019 to 2022 for violating environmental rules and regulations.

NESREA officials sealing a facility

Director-General of the agency, Prof. Aliyu Jauro, who disclosed this in an interview on Sunday, December 18, 2022, in Abuja, said that the facilities were initially served notices of compliance concerns, in line with legal provisions but failed to abate their infractions against the environment.

He said that the facilities also failed to comply with the extant environmental laws.

NESREA is the foremost environmental enforcement agency of the Federal Government saddled with the responsibility of enforcing all environmental laws, guidelines, policies, standards and regulations in the country.

NESREA prohibits processes and use of equipment or technology that undermine environmental quality and also enforces compliance with provisions of all International Environmental Agreements, Protocols, Conventions and Treaties to which Nigeria is a signatory.

“When I assumed office in 2019, I discovered that the agency did not have any enforcement action for about four years, although there were lots of breaches.

“One of my major achievements was to resume enforcement activities and from 2019 to date, we have sealed 160 facilities that violated environmental rules and regulations.

“When we came on board in 2019, there was COVID-19 which spanned almost two years, yet we were able to achieve a lot,” Jauro said.

He said that the agency had, since 2019, also intensified its compliance monitory activities.

The director-general said that so far, it had over 10,000 compliance monitories nationwide which was far more than what the agency had done four years prior to his assumption of office.

According to him, the agency has a total of 38 cases pending in court due to delay in court processes.

“We have also automated our system. The certification system and others are now done online. We have what we called NESREA Permitting, Auditing and Management Platform.

“The agency now has an environmental management plan which enhances seamless online documentation. When you are ready you submit online, it takes you through all the processes; you do not have to submit hard copy of any document.

“Through the online processing of documents, we have eliminated the use of papers, thereby saving our trees from been cut down and reducing the cost of chemical used for producing papers,” he said.

The director-general disclosed that the agency would soon launch its National Environmental Assessment portal meant for the issuance of environmental import clearance.

By Felicia Imohimi

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