Experts urge Kogi to ensure compliance with environmental laws
An expert on environment and former lecturer with Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Dr. Hamza Ibn Suleiman, made the call at a roundtable, which was organized 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.
Meanwhile, the Igbo Community in Kogi State has thrown its weight behind the re-election of the incumbent Governor of Kogi State Captain Idris Wada for second term.
Chief Joseph Enyeama, who spoke on behalf of the community at a town hall meeting in Lokoja, the state capital, stated that Kogi State has witnessed peaceful coexistence with other tribes during the last four years of Wada’s administration.
Responding, the State Governor, Captain Idris Wada commended them for peaceful living with their host community, stressing that Igbo community has contributed immensely to the economic development of the state.
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.