NESREA: Telecoms Firms Now Comply with Environmental Regulations

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Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

‎The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), has said that telecommunication companies no longer flout environmental rules and regulations in the country.

Its Director General, Dr. Lawrence Anukam disclosed this in Abuja at the 7th national dialogue on the implementation of national environmental regulations.

The DG stated that the telecommunication operators have also realised the need to cooperate with the agency especially on the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) before erecting their base stations.

According to him, “Initially, we were a little bit not getting it right but in recent times, most telecom companies are beginning to follow the rules in terms of making sure they conduct the environmental studies, the EIA even before erecting their masts. But we still notice one or two infractions and when we do, we try to follow up appropriate actions.”

Ankam added that there have been a lot of improvements better than it was years ago.

The DG stated categorically that except the Federal Ministry of Environment, no other institution in the country, including State governments has the mandate to issue the EIA certificate, noting that the agency was established to ensure strict compliance with all environmental laws, guidelines, policies, standards and regulations in the country.

Earlier, the Environment Minister, Ms. Amina Mohammed said the regulatory dialogue was to discuss information on how best stakeholders could ensure compliance with environment safety programmes.

She stressed:‎”Nesrea is an enforcement arm of the federal ministry of environment and is mandated to enforce all environmental laws, guidelines, policies, standards and regulations in Nigeria and to prohibit processes and the use of equipment or technology that undermine environmental quality.

“It has responsibility to enforce compliance with provisions of international agreements, protocols, conventions and treaties to which Nigeria is a signatory. But Nesrea cannot carry out these functions effectively without the collaboration and cooperation of other sector players.”

The minister however described the forum as a platform to strengthen alliance and fine-tune strategies for environmental protection and sustainable developments.