Frequently Asked Questions
i. What Is The Historical Background Of Environmental Compliance And Enforcement In Nigeria?
Nigeria spans about 924,000 square kilometers of land area with ecological zones ranging from the dry savannas in the north, to the water abundant Niger Delta which is rich in energy and mineral deposits.
Nigeria possesses a well endowed environment and natural resource base both renewable and non-renewable, and has remained a key player in all global environmental initiatives since the 1970’s.
In 1987, Nigeria took a giant leap by becoming an environmentally conscious nation following the dumping of toxic waste in Koko village, in Delta State. The country was before this incident, ill-equipped to manage such environmental crisis, as there were no institutional capacity and legislations to address such matters.
Consequent upon the Koko toxic waste episode, was the promulgation of the Harmful Waste Decree 42 of 1988, which facilitated the establishment of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) through Decree 58 of 1988 and 59 (amended) of 1992.
FEPA was charged with the overall responsibility for environmental management and protection. In the wisdom of Government, FEPA and other relevant Departments in other Ministries were merged to form the Federal Ministry of Environment in 1999, but without an appropriate enabling law on enforcement issues.
This situation, however, created a vacuum in the effective enforcement of environmental laws, standards and regulations in the country. In addressing the need for an enforcement Agency, the Federal Government in line with section 20 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, established the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) as an Agency of the Federal Ministry of Environment.
ii. Is There No Conflict With The Establishment Of Nesrea Alongside Fepa?
By the NESREA Act, the Federal Environmental Protection Agency Act Cap F 10 LFN 2004 has been repealed. So there is no Agency called FEPA any more.
iii. What Is Nesrea?
The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), an Agency of the Federal Ministry of Environment charged with the responsibility of enforcing environmental laws, regulations and standards in deterring people, industries and organizations from polluting and degrading the environment.
iv. When Was Nesrea Established?
The NESREA Act was signed into law by President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, GCFR, and this has been published in the Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette No. 92, Vol. 94 of 31st July, 2007.
v. What Is The Mandate Of Nesrea?
NESREA has responsibility for the protection and development of the environment, biodiversity conservation and sustainable development of Nigeria’s natural resources in general and environmental technology including coordination, and liaison with, relevant stakeholders within and outside Nigeria on matters of enforcement of environmental standards, regulations, rules, laws, policies and guidelines.
vi. What Is The Vision Of The Agency?
To ensure a cleaner and healthier environment for Nigerians.
vii. What Is The Mission Of The Agency?
To inspire personal and collective responsibility in building an environmentally conscious society for the achievement of sustainable development in Nigeria.
viii. What Is The Focus Of Nesrea?
- To protect the environment
- To enforce Laws and Regulations on the Environment.
- To maintain Environmental Standards.
- To create environmental awareness
- To engage in partnership in the protection of the environment.
ix. What Are The Functions Of The Agency?
- enforce compliance with laws, guidelines, policies and standards on environmental matters;
- coordinate and liaise with, stakeholders, within and outside Nigeria on matters of environmental standards, regulations and enforcement;
- enforce compliance with the provisions of international agreements, protocols, conventions and treaties on the environment including climate change, biodiversity conservation, desertification, forestry, oil and gas, chemicals, hazardous wastes, ozone depletion, marine and wild life, pollution, sanitation and such other environmental agreements as may from time to time come into force;
x. What Are The Powers Of The Agency?
The Agency has powers to:
- prohibit processes and use of equipment or technology that undermine environmental quality;
- conduct field follow-up of compliance with set standards and take procedures prescribed by law against any violator;
- subject to the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, and in collaboration with relevant judicial authorities establish mobile courts to expeditiously dispense cases of violation of environmental regulation.