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Environmental Practitioners Institute law passed in the House of Representatives

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Nigeria’s House of Representatives has passed into law, a bill seeking
to establish an Institute of Environmental Practitioners of Nigeria.

The bill titled: “A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Establishment of the Institute of Environmental Practitioners of Nigeria and for Related Matters (HB. 353) is sponsored by the lawmaker representing Ohaozara/Onicha/Ivo Federal Constituency of Ebonyi state on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Livinus Makwe.

In his explanation of the bill, the lawmaker said the idea for the bill was borne out of the critical need to respond to issues of climate change which according to him is something that Nigeria must take very serious as there are already serious scientific evidences that climate change may in fact, be the greatest challenge confronting humanity.

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Makwe disclosed to CAPITALPOST that the bill when it eventually becomes law will help different sectors of the Nigerian society to “protect our environment, which is our most enduring resources as the Bill seeks to establish an Institute charged with the responsibility of regulating and managing environmental practices in Nigeria.

The lawmaker said that Nigeria is already facing series of environmental challenges ranging from desert encroachment, erosion, oil spillage, flooding and many other environmental issues that pose serious threat to the economy and lives of Nigerians.

Explaining how the bill will work when it eventually becomes law, the lawmaker said that the “Institute of Environmental Practitioners of Nigeria will regulate the way human actions affect our environment.

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According to him, just like other professional bodies, the Institute will ensure that people respect the laws that regulate all manner of constructions, agricultural practices, and activities of extractive industries as well as individuals in relation to sustainable alteration of the natural environment.

The Institute according to the lawmaker will operate independent of the government, but will have representatives of various government ministries and agencies including, representatives of the Ministries of Environment, Health, Petroleum Resources, Agriculture and Works and Housing.

Other agencies of the government that will be part of the Institute’s board are Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria and the National Environmental Standards Regulatory and Enforcement Agency of Nigeria (NESREA). Nigerian Environmental Society and the Waste Management Society of Nigeria will also be part of the institute’s council for effective environmental management action.

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The passage of the bill for 3rd reading followed the unanimous support of the bill by lawmakers in the House who had earlier on Tuesday July 21, 2020 when the details of the bill was considered and unanimously approved at the House’ Committee of the Whole.

The Senate.was expected to concurrently passed the bill for onward transmission to the Executive arm for assent.

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