The NESREA boss sad she wants police officers to be conversant with environmental crimes.
The Nigerian Police Force is to create a special unit to assist the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement (NESREA) in its enforcement duties, a statement said in Abuja on Thursday.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, made the plan known when the Director General of NESREA, Ngeri Benebo, paid him a courtesy visit in his office, the statement said.
The statement, issued by Sule Oyofo, the Chief Press Secretary of NESREA, said Mr. Abubakar stressed the need for an effective synergy between the organisation and the police to fight environmental offenders.
Mr. Abubakar lauded the development of the Police Environmental Curriculum developed by NESREA, adding that “it will assist in training officers, who are in the police colleges.’’
He said the training was necessary “so that when they come out, they already know what they are supposed to do with regard to environmental laws”.
The police boss said the Nigeria Police Force was prepared to create a special unit of liaison officers dedicated to assisting NESREA in its enforcement activities.
“I will set up a unit for them and it will be permanently there and the unit will have a better understanding of what you need them to do.
“From there, we will replicate this in the states. Each state command will have a unit and they will be part and parcel of your organisation.
“You tell them what to do and the commissioners of police and zonal AIGs (Assistant Inspectors-General of Police) will take it up from there,” he said.
While briefing the IG on the curriculum earlier, Ms. Benebo said the aim was to give police officers and men improved understanding of environmental issues as obtained in other parts of the world.
“When we go to international meetings, for instance, at the Interpol and United States Environmental Protection Agency, (USEPA), we find out that the police is up to date on environmental issues and we felt there is need for our police in Nigeria to be trained on environmental protection,” she said.
Ms. Benebo described the police as very important to the success of compliance monitoring and enforcement activities of NESREA.
“Environmental crimes have become very serious crimes world over. We need collaboration with the police.
“When someone is identified to have committed an environmental crime, we need the police to arrest the offender and keep them pending when the matter goes to court,” she said.