18 June 2015, Lagos – The Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC) has sought the cooperation of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) towards effective environmental protection in the development of a Nuclear Power Plant in Nigeria.
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NAEC, Dr. Franklin Era-Pamo Osaisai made the plea during a courtesy visit on the Director-General/CEO of NESREA, Dr. Lawrence Chidi Anukam in his office in Abuja recently.
Speaking during the meeting, Osaisai reiterated the key role the agency would play in the overall success of the project especially in the areas of environmental safety, audit and Impact Assessment processes.
Osaisai said the cooperation of NESREA was vital because environmental safety is key to an enduring Nuclear Plant. He promised that as part of the collaboration between NESREA and NAEC, and in order to have the desired impact, there would be support for some capacity building programmes in relation to environment and nuclear technology.
In his response, Anukam assured the Commission that NESREA was ready to cooperate and collaborate to attain the desired objective and success. The NESREA boss noted that conducting Environmental Impact Assessment is key, as this would help to protect human health and the environment.
Anukam also pointed out that some extant environmental laws and regulations, including the National Environmental (Energy Sector) Regulations 2011, would assist in ensuring environmental compliance monitoring and enforcement in the sector.
The Director-General emphasised the need for all necessary environmental considerations to be factored into the execution of the Project.
Meanwhile, following disturbing trends in the environment sector, the federal government has called for diligence in the management and execution of environmental programmes in the country.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Mrs. Nana Fatimah Mede gave the charge during her maiden visit to the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA).
The visit to NESREA Headquarters was to enable the Permanent Secretary access and familiarise herself with Parastatals and Departments under the Ministry.
On arrival, Mede expressed her appreciation and support for the NESREA process and thanked the Management and staff members for the cooperation and support extended to her since her assumption of duty as the Permanent Secretary.
Urging the Management and staff members to see their jobs as privileged, the Permanent Secretary assured that government would make genuine efforts to remove impediments to helping the agency evolve as a formidable environmental enforcement authority.
She stated that challenges facing NESREA would be tackled dispassionately as soon as resources are available. She stressed the need for environmental sensitisation, advocacy and awareness campaign.
Earlier, the Director General of NESREA, Anukam, in welcoming the Permanent Secretary, had intimated her with some of the programmes and activities of NESREA, including some of the constraints facing the agency. He appealed to Mede to assist the agency in addressing some of the issues.
The Director-General expressed his sincere appreciation for the high level of commitment and openness the Permanent Secretary had shown in dealing with issues concerning the agency.
Anukam told the Permanent Secretary that the agency needed assistance to get a permanent befitting office Headquarters in Abuja instead of continuing to pay high rent on office accommodation.
– This Day