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Agency to sanction 11 firms in Gombe for violating environmental regulations

By The Citizen
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The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) says it will sanction11 firms for violating environmental regulations in Gombe.

The Zonal Director of NESRAE in charge of the North East, Alhaji Abdullahi Bindawa, said this when he spoke to the  News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe on Wednesday.

Bindawa said that six of the companies would be sanctioned for failing to provide Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on their projects.

He also said that five other firms would be sanctioned for failing to provide Environmental Impact Audit of their facilities.

The zonal director expressed concern over the failure of firms, especially those engaged in construction work, to provide EIA for the projects.

'Many of the roads in Gombe metropolis and those in other local governments have no EIA.

'Any major development project, before commencing it, you have to do the EIA.

'The EIA statement must be done by an expert in the area of environment.

'We call them consultants; we have NESREA -accredited consultants who are experts on environmental issues', he said.

He said the EIA would spell out negative consequences the proposed project would have on the people and the environment, thereby making necessary provision for correcting the negative impact on the people.

'Many of the projects coming up in GombeState do not have EIAs.

'So, we need to educate a lot of people on this issue.' Bindawa said.

The zonal director advised owners of projects to ensure that the EIA is done before the commencement of such projects to avoid the wrath of NESREA.

'Right from feasibility studies, before commencing that project, ensure that the project is covered by an EIA.

'The ideal thing is to integrate the EIA in the project. Even the contractor is not supposed to accept the project if it is not covered by the EIA.' he said.

According to Bindawa, many complaints were received by the agency about damages done to buildings by some of the facilities such as telecommunication masts and other facilities.

He said the agency had been sensitising the public by establishing environmental clubs in schools and embarking on tree planting with members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to ensure a clean and safe environment.

Bindawa further said the agency in conjunction with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) had carried out sensitization activities on flood.

He advised companies to avail themselves of the 33 environmental regulations before embarking on any project to avoid violating them.