The Director General, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Prof Aliyu Jauro, has described the dearth of environmental lawyers as a major setback in the war against environmental crimes in the country.
Prof Jauro spoke when he received members of the Nigerian Bar Association, Gwagwalada branch, who were on a courtesy visit to the headquarters of the agency in Abuja.
He said: “Lack of knowledge in the area of environmental law is a serious challenge. Many lawyers are not abreast with issues pertaining to the environment despite the fact that we have a lot of legislative frameworks on environmental issues. We had in the past organised appreciation workshops for Judges and other judicial officers as part of advocacy on environmental law enforcement.”
Prof Jauro told the lawyers that the agency had so far developed 35 regulations cutting across different sectors in both the green and brown environment, adding that the regulations were already being implemented to promote environmental governance and sustainability.
He, therefore, implored them to “use public interest litigation to develop, enrich and promote our jurisprudence as far as environmental law is concerned.”
Chairman of the NBA, Gwagwalada branch, Emmanuel Tayo Ogunjide, who led the lawyers, praised the Director General and his team for the numerous achievements recorded by the Agency.
“Kudos to the DG and his management team. We are impressed. Maybe if not for the effort of the agency, the environment in the country would be worse off.”
He said the lawyers were at the headquarters of NESREA to seek collaboration on capacity building in the area of environmental law.
“We want your experience and wealth of knowledge to rub off on us,” he added.