The Supervising Minister
of Environment and Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Darius Ishaku, last Thursday ascribed key environmental challenges in Nigeria to disregard for environmental laws.
Ishaku said this at a dialogue organised by the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) in Abuja.
He also observed that the ecological system was under threat arising from disregard for environmental laws and regulations.
According to him, the environment as a natural endowment, is a source of raw materials and energy, adding that it served as a sink for waste.
He said it provided services such as the maintenance of the climate system and ecological circle globally.
“Let us look at the environment as a natural endowment and as our source of raw materials and energy.
“It serves as a sink for our waste and provides services such as the maintenance of climate system and ecological circle.
“It is a life-support system but unfortunately, the functions of the ecological system which we also refer to as ecosystem, are under threat, arising particularly from disregard for environmental laws.’’
Ishaku advised that care for environment was a moral obligation that people had to protect.
He advised NESREA to ensure strict enforcement of regulations and also put a mechanism in place to monitor the degree of compliance.
“Care for the environment is a moral obligation, an ethical belief that we should protect those things we all share the air, water and land.
“Environmental laws are rules that guide the proper use of resources for the good of the society, the economy and the environment, in line with the principles of sustainable development.
“To achieve desired effect, these laws must be enforced and as a corporate responsibility; NESREA has to ensure that the laws are complied with and monitor the degree of compliance.’’
He commended NESREA for initiating a dialogue for key stakeholders in the environment sector to share experiences and to fashion out best practices to monitoring and enforcement.
In her remark, Dr. Ngeri Benebo, the NESREA Director-General, said the dialogue was designed to enhance a proactive understanding of the interface between the federal and state regulatory agencies.
The Tide reports that NESREA presented five new draft regulations during the meeting.
The regulations are National Environmental Air Quality Control Regulations 2013 and the National Environmental Control of Charcoal Production and Export Regulation 2013.
The Supervising Minister