Prior to the dumping of toxic waste in Koko village, in Delta State, in 1987, Nigeria was ill-equipped to manage serious environmental crisis, as there were no institutional arrangements or mechanisms for environmental protection and enforcement of environmental laws and regulations in the country.
Arising from the Koko toxic waste episode, the Federal Government promulgated the Harmful Waste Decree 42 of 1988, which facilitated the establishment of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) through Decree 58 of 1988 and 59 (amended) of 1992.
FEPA was then charged with the overall responsibility for environmental management and protection. It is on record that by the establishment of FEPA, Nigeria became the first African country to establish a national institutional mechanism for environmental protection.
In the wisdom of the Government, FEPA and other relevant Departments in other Ministries were merged to form the Federal Ministry of Environment in 1999, but without an appropriate enabling law on enforcement issues. This situation created a vacuum in the effective enforcement of environmental laws, standards and regulations in the country.
To address this lapse, the Federal Government in line with section 20 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, established the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Environment. By the NESREA establishment Act 2007, the Federal Environmental Protection Agency Act Cap F 10 LFN 2004 has been repealed.
The Bill for an Act establishing NESREA was passed by the National Assembly, signed into law by President Umaru Musa Yar' Adua and published in the Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette No. 92. Vol. 94 of 31st July, 2007.
VISION AND MISSION OF THE AGENCY
Vision: To ensure a cleaner and healthier environment for Nigerians.
Mission: To inspire personal and collective responsibility in building an environmentally conscious society for the achievement of sustainable development in Nigeria.
MANDATE OF THE AGENCY
NESREA has responsibility for the protection and development of the environment, biodiversity conservation and sustainable development of Nigeria's natural resources in general and environmental technology including coordination, and liaison with, relevant stakeholders within and outside Nigeria on matters of enforcement of environmental standards, regulations, rules, laws, policies and guidelines.
The NESREA Act empowers the Agency to be responsible for enforcing all environmental laws, guidelines, policies, standards and regulations in Nigeria, as well as enforcing compliance with provisions of international agreements, protocols, conventions and treaties on the environment to which Nigeria is a signatory.
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