Experts are calling for a new policy framework that would bring about stronger environmental control measures in the Niger Delta region.
This was the focus of a stakeholders’ interactive session in Port Harcourt, Rivers State organized to discuss measures aimed at curbing environmental degradation and addressing its impact on society.
TVC News Uche Okoro reports that the event which was organized by the African Center for Leadership, Strategy and Development, provided a platform for multi-stakeholder interaction on the challenges of environmental protection in the Niger Delta with particular attention on implementation of the UNEP report on Ogoni land.
Participants also advised the government to design a more robust policy framework on the environment that would take into consideration factors outside the oil and gas industry.
For the representative of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA very little will be achieved unless all powers relating to environmental regulation in the oil and gas industry are transferred to the ministry of environment.
Other concerns raised include the absence of portable drinking water in many Niger Delta communities and bottlenecks in seeking justice for environmental offences.
Also at the event, the government was advised to compel business operating in the country to adopt best practices in waste management.
According to some speakers, this enforcement should be extended to businesses outside the oil and gas sector, whose activities also have an impact on the environment.