Environmental policies are set up by the various and relevant organs of the government to compel Nigerians to look after their environments. Truth is environmental safety is everyone’s responsibility.
However, the laws help compel people to be more responsible towards the environment where they live or do business. These legislations have proved to be highly effective instruments towards protecting the environment. The laws equally contribute to environmental control, prevention, pollution and planning.
Summary of Nigerian Environmental Laws
The laws and regulations related to the environment are further emphasized through the following documents and legislations:
• The Constitution Of The Federal Republic Of Nigeria (1999)
• National Environmental Standards And Regulations Enforcement Agency Act
• Environmental Impact Assessment Act
• Niger-Delta Development Commission Act
• Federal National Park Act
• Hides And Skins Act
• Water Resources Act
• Factories Act
• Civil Aviation Act
• Bees (Impact Control And Management) Act
• Animal Diseases (Control) Act
• Agricultural Act
• Pest Control Of Production Act
• River Basin Development Authority Act
• Quarantine Act
• Nigerian Mining Corporation Act
• Nuclear Safety And Radiation Protection Act
• Territorial Waters Act
• Petroleum Products And Distribution Act
• Petroleum Act
• Oil Pipeline Act
• Exclusive Economic Zone Act
• Sea Fisheries Act
• The Endangered Species Act
• Associated Gas Re-Injection Act
• Hydrocarbon Oil Refineries Act
• Harmful Waste Act
• The Land Use Act.
Points to note
The Nigerian constriction, for one, makes provision for environmental protection and management in sections 12, 20, 33 and 34. Section 33 and 34 guarantee right to land and human dignity and it is said to associate with the necessity for safe and healthy environment.
In the national environmental standards and regulations enforcement agency act of 2007, there are emphasis in sections 7, 8 and 27 on the need for strong environmental protection. Section 27 specifically bans the discharge of hazardous or toxic substances or items into the environment. Anyone culpable can be made to pay One Million naira along with 5 years imprisonment.
The National Effluent Limitation Regulation equally gives strong indications regarding environment protection. Section 1 for example bans the release of any form of hazardous or toxic substances into water body, on land or into the air. Other relevant sections are sections 3, 4 and 5.
The Federal Solid and Hazardous Waste Management Regulations (1991) is yet another environment policy of the Nigerian government. Section 1 of this document places compulsion on industries to identify and isolate solid and hazardous waste materials that are dangerous to the environment and public health. It also compels the industries to implement possible recycling process on these hazardous products. Other relevant sections of the regulations are sections 20 and 108.
The governor of a state is saddled with the responsibility of managing and controlling all lands in the state. The governor is recognized by the Land Use Act of 2004 as the owner, manager and controller of all lands in the state. The governor is free to decide on which piece of land to allocate for agricultural, residential or commercial purpose.