A former lecturer with Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Dr. Hamza Ibn Suleiman, has urged the Kogi State Government to comply strictly on the National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA) as well as other regulatory bodies.
He made the charge at a round table meeting organised by the Federal Government, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Kogi State Environmental Protection Board in collaboration with Development and Female Gender Initiative (DEGENDER) at Lokoja.
Suleiman, who spoke on the theme “Compliance with Kogi State Environmental Laws,” said the state faced serious environmental issues that required strict enforcement of the laws.
The environmentalist therefore challenged Kogi State Environmental Protection Board (KOSEPB), to prepare long-term plans for mining sites, industrial areas, restricted areas and develop rational investment strategies to protect the citizens.
Director, Administration and Finance, KOSEPB, Malam Mohammed Musa said people could kill themselves in instalments through environmental abuse.
Musa noted that ensuring compliance and adherence to the laws had posed challenges. This he said made the government to start building a laboratory to address environmental pollution by individuals and companies.
A lawyer, Shiru Alhassan, called for review of the state environmental laws in order to spell out offences and penalties, observing that the law in its present form did not give room for diligent prosecution of offenders as there were many loopholes and could be exploited by offenders.
Executive Director of DEGENDER, Dr. Moses Shaibu, said the environment had suffered a lot over the years due to high level of neglect
“It is time for the environment to be brought to the fore. The essence of this round table is to create the awareness that this law exists and for people to know that punishment goes with non-compliance.