Appraisal of the operationalisation of national environmental regulations in Nigeria under the national environmental standards and regulations enforcement agency
Environmental protection and regulation will ever remain a recurrent need in human affairs given the importance of the environment to man’s continuous existence and the impact of his activities on the natural environment as well. This reality has informed various coordinated attempts to balance the relationship between man and his natural environment, being his habitat. Following the enactment of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (Establishment) Act 2007 (NESREA Act, now Cap N164, Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2010), a number of National Environmental Regulations have been made to give effect to the aim and objectives of the Act. However, with this plethora of regulations, the ugly trends of environmental abuses and the attendant challenges remain constant on the Nigerian landscape as if those regulations are not in existence. Adopting a doctrinal method, this paper interrogates the purposes of the extant national environmental regulations to determine the reasons behind their seemingly non-efficacious as opposed to the spirit of the NESREA Act from where they derive their lifeblood. The paper argues that the awareness creation about these regulations and their enforcements are generally poor and or weak on the part of NESREA that is statutorily saddled with the responsibilities. The paper concludes that NESREA, being the appropriate authority, should strengthen its enforcement mechanism and embark on serious environmental awareness creation especially among the rural dwellers who are more close to the natural environment.
Keywords: Environment, National Environmental Regulations, and Enforcement