Lagos State Government on Wednesday charged all Engineers at the Local Government levels to ensure the incorporation of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) into every project and policy before implementation.
The Permanent Secretary Office of Environmental Services, Dr. Omobolaji Gaji stated this during a stakeholders engagement workshop for Council Managers and Engineers on mainstreaming of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) into a developmental initiative in Lagos State held at LCCI Event Centre, Ikeja.
The Perm Sec maintained that Environmental Impact Assessment is a critical environmental management tool that must be embraced by all sectors across the state.
He stated that the objective of the meeting was to discuss the critical role of (EIA) in various collective strides toward sustainable development in the State.
“Dear participant, you will agree with me that it is no longer news that Lagos remains the preferred destination for many businesses operating within the various sectors of Nigeria’s economy. This is cheering news as it opens the State to economic prosperity, on the other hand, it comes with various types of environmental challenges” he said.
He said the establishment of industries, creation of settlements, and construction of infrastructure, all come with huge adverse environmental impacts ranging from pollution to irreversible environmental degradation if not properly managed.
He said it is for these reasons that the Government through the Ministry of the Environment & Water Resources adopted the application of the EIA process in ensure sustainable implementation of development projects in the State in line with global best practices.
He stated that the cost of doing the right things is cheaper than the cost of correcting the consequences of refusal to do them stressing that was why the Ministry created awareness on the need for participation and compliance with the EIA process in the State.
He reiterated that the Government cannot afford the huge cost of addressing environmental degradation and ecological challenges resulting from unwholesome project development activities
He said it is worrisome that while the Government continues to see improvements in the level of compliance from the Private Sectors to the process, the same cannot be said of the Public Sectors adding that most Local Government & Local Council Development Areas have continued to execute projects without the EIA processes.
He emphasized that the above situation portrays the Government as adopting double standards by insisting that the Private sectors comply with the process when Government Arms on their part are not.
He said as a result of this, the Ministry developed a Citizens Guide on EIA to educate public and provided required information on EIA process in the State.
He said the Ministry embarked on Stakeholders Engagement meetings to several Local Government Areas in the State with the latest held in Badagry LGA where the EIA Report of the Badagry Deep Seaport and Free Zone project was discussed adding that workshops for other LGAs and LCDAs would soon commence for the year.
Earlier the Director of Environmental Assessment Department, Dr. Olasunkanmi Sojinu spoke on the EIA process in Lagos State saying parts of the process include submission of a letter of intent and terms of reference for the conduct of EIA for the proposed project.
He added that others are a review of terms of reference, registration of the proposed project with the Ministry by obtaining project regulatory form, site verification for the assessment of nature; size and sensitivity of the size amongst others.
Also the facilitator, Assistant Director, Environmental Assessment Department, Mr. Lasisi Adedoyin in his lecture titled “Mainstreaming Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) into developmental initiatives in Lagos State” explained that EIA should be put into consideration for projects development activities for environmental sustainability.
He said oftentimes, environmental analysis is what people carried out before project development while referring to it as EIA.
He advised that it has become important to incorporate greening, water project and proper drainage system in every projects being embarked upon.
The stakeholders was attended by Council Managers, Engineers as well as Architect drawn from the 57 Local Government and LCDs in Lagos State.
Director (Public Affairs)
May 25, 2022