NESREA AND CUSTOMS MEET, STRENGTHEN INTELLIGENCE
Tackling illicit trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora, as well as illegal shipment of hazardous waste into the country are two areas of collaboration between the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, NESREA and the Nigerian Customs Service. The combined efforts of both Agencies of government have successfully reduced incidences of wild life trafficking and importation of hazardous waste in the country.
When the Director General of NESREA, Prof Aliyu Jauro paid a courtesy call on the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd), it was to further strengthen intelligence exchange between the two organizations. Prof. Aliyu Jauro commended the Nigerian Customs Service for its role in ensuring the achievement of NESREA’s mandate, adding that adequate information on suspects and trafficked goods and products were also necessary for onward transmission to INTERPOL and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, CITES. He added that NESREA had launched the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)Programme, to tap into the gains of e-waste by “gradually moving towards Circular Economy where waste is fed back into the system for other production processes resulting in zero or minimal waste”.
Prof. Jauro also said, “considering the volume of e-waste generated in the country and the need to use waste as a resource to grow the economy, it is expected that a lot of green jobs will be created along the waste value chain, providing employment opportunities for the teeming unemployed youths.” The Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Col. Hammed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd.) described it as embarrassing that the country was being used as a transit for illegal trade in endangered wildlife. “There is need for us to tighten this noose and make sure these things do not come in and they do not go out. We can do that by collaborating on intelligence.”
Inter-Agency cooperation between NESREA and customs has enabled several seizures of both live and dead wildlife specimens with the suspects successfully prosecuted. It has also enabled the Agency to apprehend illegal shipment of hazardous waste (electronic waste) under the INTERPOL Environmental Crime Working Group.