NGO Wants Inclusion Of Social, Human Rights In EIA Policy

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An NGO, Publish What You Pay has called for inclusion of social and human right impact assessment into the nation’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Policy and Legal Framework.
The National Coordinator of the NGO, Mr Peter Egbule, made the call in Abuja at the Multi-Stakeholders Consultative Meeting on Integrating Social and Human Right Impact Assessment into the EIA Policy and Legal Framework.
Egbule said that apart from the fact that the activities of extractive industries disrupted the earth, it also affected social and human existence of any community where the industries operated.
“In view of this, we want people’s views and decisions to be included into the EIA process because these extractive activities have direct impact on their environment, community social structure and sustainable livelihood.
“Lack of inclusion of social and human rights protective mechanisms in the Nigerian environmental impact assessment processes has been identified as one of the catalysts for crises in extractive-laden areas in the country
“The oil and gas region has long been a volatile area, which has caused many deaths, degradation and unresolved crisis,” Egbule said.
According to him, this trend has further extended to the solid mineral areas; a good example is the current crisis in Zamfara State.
Mr Taiwo Otitolaye, the Project Coordinator of the NGO called for community participation and inclusion in the EIA process.
Otitolaye said that the voices of the individuals, communities and their rights should be taken into consideration in designing projects.
“Companies, especially the International Oil Companies (IOCs), should involve communities in oil and gas management impacts on their communities and given freedom to be part of the process.
“Government at all levels should involve communities in decision and policy making process,” Otitolaye said.