NESREA says the new regulations will help clamp down importation of toxic wastes into the country.
The Federal Government has gazetted 24 new regulations formulated by the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, NESREA.
The Director-General of the agency, Ngeri Benebo, made this known in an interview in Abuja on Thursday.
Mr. Benebo said the agency had fully begun the enforcement of the new regulations by clamping down on environmental offenders and meting appropriate sanctions.
“It is worthy of mention that for the first time in Nigeria, we have 24 new regulations formulated by NESREA and already Gazetted by the Federal Government.
“These regulations are of international standards and are not in any way weak and not functioning, they cover all aspects of the environment which are regulated by NESREA.
“Of course, the first thing about regulation is making sure the necessary laws are in place and certainly we already have them now in Nigeria. But what NESREA has done goes beyond just formulation of environmental laws.
“The agency has since begun the enforcement of these regulations by clamping down on environmental offenders and meting out appropriate sanctions,” he said.
Mr. Benebo also said the agency had effectively stemmed the importation of toxic waste into the country. He said it had returned several vessels of toxic waste back to their countries of origin through an effective networking.
The director-general said, “NESREA has been able to effectively checkmate the importation of toxic waste into the country, saving Nigerians from contacting diseases that will emanate from such wastes.
“Through our effective networking and enforcement activities, the agency has succeeded in putting a stop to e-waste importation.”
He said no fewer than 10 toxic waste vessels have been returned to their ports of origin and some were even charged to court.
“Before now, Nigeria was considered a safe haven for importers of e-waste and the country was one big e-waste dump if you recall the Koko toxic waste episode.
“If these e-wastes are not brought into Nigeria, then the country is saved from diseases like cancer, asthma and kidney failure, among others,” he said.