FG completes EIA Act review

Environmental Sanitation

Environmental Sanitation

FACED with challenges in the implementation of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA), the Federal Ministry of Environment has completed the review of the EIA Act in order to make it more user-friendly and remove numerous institutional bottlenecks bedeviling its smooth execution in the country.

The Ministry’s Permanent secretary, Nana Fatima Mede who disclosed this at a Validation workshop Tuesday in Abuja, said that the Ministerial committee set up to review the document expunged and reframe some sections of the existing Act in line with current practices and practical realities.

The committee also addressed areas of the Act, which are in conflict with other laws of the federation and made recommendations on how best to resolve such conflicts.

According to her, schedule I of the current EIA has been extensively reviewed and expanded to take care of emerging issues including that telecommunication industry while violation charges were reviewed in line with current realities in order to ensure compliance and deterrence.

She observed that the federal government has been implementing the EIA Act CAP E12 LFN 2010, stressing that a number of gaps and inconsistencies have been observed in the course of the implementation of the Act.

Mede noted that new and emerging global issues such as strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), Cumulative Impacts Assessment (CIA), Climate-smart EIA, Indigenous people and Cultural Heritage in EIA have evolved, hence the need to make the Act more relevant by revising it and coming up with new sectoral guidelines.

She pointed out that the Act represents one of the core values of the ministry in order to ensure sustainable development adding that the review would strengthen the effectiveness of the Act and enhance the positive benefits of development projects, plans, programmes and policies of government.

Her words: “We expect that review process will lead to an EIA law that provides greater clarity on the roles and responsibilities of the three tiers of government, the project developer, host communities, increase harmonization with international performance standards and broaden social assessment and management of emerging environmental and social risks”.

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