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Published On: Tue, May 27th, 2014

Confab adopts report of Environment Committee

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The National Conference plenary on Monday, overwhelmingly adopted most of the recommendations contained in the report of its Standing Committee on Environment with some minor amendments.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the conference adopted about 50 recommendations of the committee which included noise control and regulation of emission of fumes from vehicles.

The recommendations which include the implementation the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Report on Ogoni, special fund to clean up Niger Delta and prohibition of asbestos for roofing were also approved.

The conference also approved the recommendation that penalty for gas flaring should be paid to communities directly affected by the flaring rather than the Federal Government.

Other recommendations approved included the removal of Ecological Funds Office from the Presidency to be domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Environment.

It also added that the disbursement of the fund must be tied to specific and identified ecological problems.

The conference adopted the need to encourage the continuous dredging of River Niger so as to diversify the country’s ports.

Also the need to create an agency to address the issue of desertification, building of Shelter Belt and the adoption of green economy by the country, were approved.

The committee’s recommendation that all the Local Government Areas should earmark at least 25 per cent of their land for forestry and states 15 per cent was also approved.

Similarly the plenary approved the recommendations on the need for hospitals in Nigeria to have incinerators for purposes of waste management, criminal prosecution of indiscriminate disposal of toxic wastes and regulation of electronic wastes.

The committee recommended the building of two new dams at the lower end of River Niger to address perennial flooding in the coastal areas which was also approved.

The declaration of flooding as an annual natural disaster wherever it occured, and the establishment of Directorate of Flood Control and Management in Federal Ministry of Environment, were overwhelmingly approved.

NAN, however, reports that the conference rejected the recommendation to prohibit indiscriminate drilling of boreholes and for state governments to resuscitate their water board agencies.

The renaming of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to include Environment Matters was also overwhelmingly rejected by the conference.

The conference, similarly, rejected the establishment of Environmental Court to adjudicate on environmental offences, and the establishment of Ecological Commission.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that with the adoption of the report of the committee on environment, the delegates have so far adopted three committees’ reports. (NAN)

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