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Expert hails Ogun State over plans to sanction firms operating without approved EIA

Head of Research at Africa Environmental & Economic Peace Mission (AEEPM), Dr. Chinedu Ntigbu has welcomed the recent official position of Ogun State Government on readiness to stop any industrial activity that fall short of approved Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report.

It would be recalled that the authorities in Ogun State recently said it plans to impose stiff sanctions on companies that fail to obtain EIA approval from the state’s Ministry of Environment.

Explaining the importance of EIA approval before the resumption of any productive venture, Dr. Ntigbu said “EIA is a global standard in industrial activities designed to serve as a gatekeeper against dangerous acts capable of ruining the operating environment, extended environment and even the lives of workers or host communities.”

“The federal and state governments should take because we are in need of factories for tax generation and employment; allow happenstances capable of creating a lasting injury to the environment or people.

“It is because of the naivety of the federal government and the Rivers State authorities in particular that the Ogoni soil pollution was allowed in the first instance, today the federal government, state and locals are suffering it.

He said AEEPM had been campaigning for clean industrial activities that fall within the ambit of relevant environmental laws in relation to corporate citizenship roles in obeying the relevant laws.

He therefore encouraged Ogun State Government to deepen its command and control in making sure that all relevant environmental laws are maintained by all producing outfits in the state.

Already, the Ogun State Government has made it clear that the move is part of its resolve to ensure that the residents live in a safe and healthy environment.

The Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Bolaji Oyeleye, was quoted to have said this during a routine monitoring of companies along the Sagamu-Ogijo Road.

Oyeleye, who was represented by the Team Leader of the Ogun State Environmental Sanitation Task Force, Mr.  Kunle Adeotan, warned that any company that failed to obtain EIA approval contravened extant environmental laws and would be penalised.

Oyeleye said that government would continue to monitor companies across the state and enforce the environmental laws where necessary, adding that the state government was committed to ensuring that the environment was not jeopardised for the future generations.

According to him, “Every company must obtain Environmental Impact Assessment approval if the project is of mandatory study as stipulated in the Environmental Impact Assessment ACT (Cap E12, LFN, 2004).

“Those projects listed on the mandatory study have to undergo EIA, which is handled by the Federal Ministry of Environment. Any project outside the mandatory study is captured under the Environmental Impact Study, which is the state version.”

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