The Lagos State Government has restated that Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report is a must for projects in the state.
This was made known by the Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare at the Stakeholders’ Engagement on Environmental Impact Assessment for Dredging and Land Reclamation Projects in Lagos State midweek in Ikorodu Local Government and Eti-Osa East Local Council Development Areas, where he was represented by the Director, Environmental Management, Mr. Sherif Savage.
The two-day event was with the theme: “Community/Stakeholders’ Engagement in Environmental Impact Assessment for Dredging and Land Reclamation Projects in Lagos State” was aimed at sensitizing major stakeholders on the issue.
Adejare stated that Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was a decision making tool which provided decision makers the necessary information to satisfactorily assess both the environmental and social effects of a proposed project.
According to him, “Environmental Impact Assessment ensures the potential Impacts of a proposed project are identified and measures for mitigation proffered before the commencement of the project”
He said that Environmental Impact Assessment was a vital part of project implementation process in which community members must be involved.
He therefore enjoined communities to have interest in any proposed project brought to their domain and demand for EIA on such projects to forestall untoward consequences.
“Environmental Impact Assessment ensures that people to be affected by the project are carried along in the project implementation process. It reduces or eliminates conflicts between project proponents and community members, while it enhances public acceptance of projects and their sustainability.”
The EIA report is a process which includes: the submission of Terms of Reference (ToR) for the environmental impact assessment ; registration of proposed project with the regulating Ministry; site verification which involved seeing and assessing the nature and sensitivity of the site; field studies and submission of draft EIA report upon approval of term of reference.
Other steps are: the review of draft EIA report for the purpose of evaluating the adequacy of the technical details of the report; and the approval or disapproval of EIA report.
The Environment Commissioner debunked some of the misconceptions about EIA, stressing that carrying out of EIA is neither money making venture for government nor a waste of time and resources. It is also not a child play or noise made by regulating agencies.
Adejare maintained that the relevant stakeholders in environmental impact assessment process are the appropriate regulators/regulatory agencies, project host community/communities, community leaders and people affected by the project.
Chief Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of the Environment
12th January, 2017