By Amara Christa
The minister of State Environment, Barr Sharon Ikeazor has stated that the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), being the regulatory agencies under the Federal Ministry of Environment are critical in achieving its mandate.
Ikeazor who stated this in Abuja during an interaction with the media, challenged the three regulatory agencies to carry the media along in their programmes and projects to avert cases of misleading information.
She pleaded with the media to always verify sources of their information before disseminating it to the publics.
Also speaking, the director of Inspection and Enforcement, NESREA, Mrs Miranda Amachree pointed out that the agency is saddled with the responsibility of enforcing all environmental laws, guidelines and regulations including International Conventions which Nigeria is a signatory.
She stated that the agency issues permit on toxic substance and air quality to industries as well as register waste handlers and major collecting centres and not the informal sector, stressing that NESREA undertake assessment of equipment’s that undermine environmental laws.
On his part, the director-general of National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr. Rufus Ebegba asserted that the agency is committed to ensuring that Genetically Modified organisms (GMO’s) are safe for human consumption and the environment.
He noted that the agency was established by the National Biosafety Management Agency Act 2015, to provide regulatory framework to adequately safeguard human health and the environment from potential adverse effects of modern biotechnology and genetically modified organisms, while harnessing the potentials of modern biotechnology and its derivatives for the benefit of Nigerians.
Ebegba added the NBMA has put in place biosecurity measures and are developing guidelines and policies that would soon become national biosecurity guidelines, just as he assured Nigerians that only safe GMO’s would be allowed into the country.
The director of Asset, Safety and Mitigation, National Oil Spill Detection & Response Agency (NOSDRA), Mr Oladipo Obanewa lamented that many oil spills are taking place at the down stream sector across the 774 local governments in Nigeria.
He said that NOSDRA was established in 2006 as an institutional framework to co-ordinate the implementation of the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP) for Nigeria in accordance with the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation (OPRC 90) to which Nigeria is a signatory.