58 of 1988 (now Cap 131). For the first time, an Agency was set up to oversee the environment with specific powers to: − Establish such procedures for industrial or agricultural activities in order to minimise damage to the environment from such activities − Establish such environmental criteria, guidelines, specifications or standards for the protection of the nation¡¦s air and inter-state waters as may be necessary to protect the health and welfare of the population from environmental degradation.(6) FEPA also has responsibility for setting standards for water quality, noise control, effluent limitation, ozone protection, control of hazardous substances, etc. − The Environmental Impact Assessment Act of 1992. This is the core legislation that governs environmental impact assessment in respect of proposed projects in Nigeria and flows directly from the provisions of principle 17 of Rio declaration: “Environmental Impact assessment as or national instrument shall be undertaken for proposed activities that are likely to have a significant adverse impact on the environment and are subject to a decision of a competent national authority.”(7) The Act therefore makes it mandatory that before the final decision is taken or approval given for any activity likely to significantly affect the environment, the effect of such activity shall first be taken into account.(8)
TS10.3 Sustainability Ifeanyi Anago Environmental Impact Assessment as a Tool for Sustainable Development: The Nigerian Experience FIG XXII International Congress Washington, D.C. USA, April 19-26 2002 8/13 4. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT: PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE 4.1 The Act is Basically divided into four Parts Part I - General Principles of Environmental Impact Assessement with broad objectives of: − Determination of environmental impacts of activities likely to negatively affect the environment; [S1(a)] − Promotion of implementation mechanisms at the federal, state and local government levels; [S.1(b)] − To encourage exchange of data and information as well as consultations and notification of alerts across boundaries to other states, towns and villages [S1(c)] Other provisions include:(1o) (a) Mandatory Assessment - (SS 2 and 3) These sections make it mandatory that an assessment be made of likely environmental impact or effect an activity would have. This assessment should be made prior to approval or final decision and at the very early stages of the activity. (b) Disclosusre - (ss 3,4 and 5) Section 3 prescribes that significant environmental issues shall be identified (disclosed) and studied while Section 4 specifies the minimum matters that the environmental assessment Report must contain: − Consultation - [SS 7 and 9(2), (3) & (4)] Prior to giving a decision on any proposed activity, FEPA shall afford concerned professionals, government agencies and other stake-holders opportunity to make an input.
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