Tayo Olaleye in Abuja
The Minister of State for Environment, Usman Jibril, has threatened that National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) will start sanctioning industries yet to join the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programme, stressing the need for a level playing field for all industries.
The minister issued the threat recently, at the 12th NESREA Stakeholders Forum in Abuja.
He said the regulations were developed pursuant to section 25(I) of the 2007 NESREA Act, which empowers the agency to make regulations for the purpose of protecting public health, promotion of sound environmental sanitation and protection of the environment.
He pointed out that the essence of the EPR programme in each of the eight regulations was to promote circular economy in the country.
He said the implementation of the EPR was to commence in the food and beverages sector as well as the electrical electronic sector, saying the two sectors have successfully registered their PROs with the corporate affairs commission as facilitated by NESREA.
Jubril said: “For any development to be sustainable, such development must go hand in hand with environmental protection. Sustainable development simply means a development that does not pollute or degrade the environment, a that can benefit us today without comprising the benefit for our future generations and the development that is in harmony with nature.”
He added that the concept of green economy and circular economy are all aspects of sustainable development. “Green economy supports a circular economy in which the use of materials and generation of waste are minimised and any remaining waste recycled, remanufactured treated in a way that causes the least damage to the environment and human health,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, the Director General and CEO of NESREA, Dr Lawrence Anukam, said the forum has, since the establishment of, NESREA, been a veritable platform for public involvement and citizen participation in environmental governance.
He stated that the objectives of this year’s forum was to deepen the knowledge and understanding of circular economy and environmental governance in the country as well as how best to mainstream the concept into a national environmental protection and sustainable development and gender.