By Tony Edike
ENUGUâ€” ENVIRONMENTAL experts have called for the establishment of Health, Safety and Environmental departments in factories across the country to ensure the safety of workers in the productive sector.
The call was contained in a communiquÃ©Â issued at the end of a one-day advocacy workshop organized for operators of industries and factories by the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, NESREA, Enugu State Field office, as part of the agencyâ€™s efforts to promote voluntary compliance in industries for safer environments and sustainable development.
Participants at the workshop with the theme, â€œEnsuring Compliance with Regulations and Standards,â€ also called for the establishment of Environmental Management Plan, EMP, for Nigerian industries.
They also emphasized the need for the setting up of environmental monitoring stations.
Advocating the establishment of a special court for NESREA to handle environmental cases, the participants, drawn from various industries in Enugu State, asked the agency to collaborate with the relevant agencies in the state in the execution of its duties.
The workshop advised operators of industries and factories to conduct periodic Environmental Regulatory Audit, adding that they should ensure the provision of pollution preventing equipment on the factories and embark on a â€œbuy-back programme to encourage returning of packaging materials.
â€œThe factories should ensure that they avail themselves the opportunity of this workshop to purchase the regulations, especially the National Environmental (permit and licensing) regulations,â€ the communiquÃ© said.
Director-General/CEO of NESREA, Dr. Ngeri Benebo, had, while declaring the workshop open, explained that the forum was intended to provide a unique opportunity for interaction amongst the captains of industries to evolve pro-active strategies for sound environmental management.
She pointed out that inadequate compliance and enforcement of environmental laws at all levels were largely responsible for environmental problems, stressing that â€œthe agency has set out on a mission to inspire personal and collective responsibility in building an environmentally conscious society for the achievement of sustainable development in Nigeria.â€