MINISTRY OF ENVIROMENT
Honourable Rosemary Osikoya
Honourable Commissioner for Enviroment
GOVERNOR YAHAYA BELLO’S ACHIEVEMENT IN THE ENVIRONMENT SECTOR MARCH 2016 – APRIL 2017 BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES, HON. ROSEMARY OJOCHENEMI OSIKOYA TO EXECUTIVE INTELLIGENT MANAGEMENT SCOURSE 10 OF ISS ON FRIDAY APRIL 28, 2017, BANQUET HALL, GOVERNMENT HOUSE LOKOJA
Following the trend at the Federal Government, the State Ministry of Environment & Natural Resources (MENR) was created in 2012 from the movement of Department of Environment from the then Ministry of Environment, movement of Department of Forestry from the Ministry of Agriculture, Environmental Health from the Ministry of Health etc and commenced operations in 2013. Before January 2016 the environment sector suffered gross neglect. In particular:
a. There was evidence of very absence/ weak institutional, regulatory, policy and legal frameworks.
b. The institutions had weak memories, no baseline data or information useful to guide policy or decision making. There were no studies.
c. There was no cooperation between the Ministry and its 2 Boards namely the State Environmental Protection Board (KOSEPB) and State Sanitation & Waste Management Board (KGSSWMB).
d. Skills and capacity deficit was prevalent, human capital was inadequate.
e. Collaborations with development partners and critical stakeholders was poor.
2. Summary of some Achievements between March 2016-April 2017
i. Inter-government collaborations have been restored and improved- with the Federal MDAs and peer states;
ii. Documents of 27 out of 36 gazetted forest reserves have been recovered from national archives and other location with support from the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan;
iii. Mapping of the state forest reserves have commenced to confirm existing perimeters, degrees of encroachment etc; this will also include disaster risk mapping and identifying locations for soil stabilization to address degradation challenges etc;
iv. Identification and rehabilitation of state nurseries has begun- total of 6 nursery locations have been identified and process for makin them functional has commenced to boost seedling production to meet state’s needs;
v. based on the New Direction blueprint target of 10% afforestation annually
1. State afforestation plan is being finalized,
2. the monthly deficit based on existing records has been confirmed to be 62.5 million trees.
3. Tree species to be planted has been identified- urban afforestation, forest reserves, schools, private plantation etc
vi. To improve the legal and regulatory structure to achieve the New Direction Blueprint target of addressing the menace of deforestation and sustainable use of the forests,
1. State forestry tariff regulation was approved by Council, with provisions for conservation and preservations and strong penalties to provide deterrence for would be offenders;
2. Kogi State Forestry Law is being developed by a committee of experts- in the post 25 years of state creation, the extant forestry laws are the inherited laws from Benue & Kwara States and that of Northern Nigeria of colonial era;
3. State has recorded over 80% success in regaining control of its forest reserves in partnership with law enforcement agencies in the state.
4. 100 forest guards were recruited and trained by FRIN (forest management) and the National Park Service (internship in existing national parks- Kainji & Old Oyo) a first every comprehensive approach to capacity building for new employees. The process for recruiting a second batch of 94 has commenced.
5. Provisions of work tools and uniforms – including vehicles for forest monitoring, on a largest scale ever- 4 dedicated vehicles as a first step.
6. Approval has been given for graduate recruitment to inject required skills and competencies into the sector and the process is ongoing.
b. Sanitation and Waste Management
i. First step was addressing the institutional, legal and regulatory framework- organograms, work flows were established & relationships clarified.
ii. Staff training, stakeholder meetings were held to train, educate and address knowledge gaps with respect to the provisions of the laws, the value chain and other issues.
iii. Over 95% of utility vehicles which were non-functional were repaired and best practices for vehicle maintenance established;
iv. Indiscriminate dumpsites have been identified in the major cities in th first instance and evacuation has been planed and commenced;
v. Desilting of major highways and drainages have been planned and actual implementation commenced according to plan;
vi. Sanitation Board law 2013 has been reviewed to allow for robust private sector participation in line with NDB targets- State Environmental Health Services Law has also been developed (draft stage). Other documents developed are: the waste management sector investor’s guard, draft tariff regulation, and sanitation policy.
vii. Skills deficit has been identified and recruitment process in progress;
viii. Procurement process for more utility vehicles, communal bins etc has commenced as provided for in the 2017 budget;
ix. The state in partnership with the private sector has provided subsidized access to recommended sanitary wastebins for households;
x. The process for private sector participation in premises inspection through PPP has almost been concluded- successful bidders have emerged.
xi. State prototype toilet design for public places have been developed and construction contract is being processed.
xii. A 20 hectares state dump site has been provided and the process for procurement for construction of engineered landfill as provided in the 2017 budget has commenced.
xiii. The state has for the 12th month sustained state monthly environmental sanitation exercise which was flagged by His Excellency Governor Yahaya Bello on May 25, 2016 after failed attempts in 2014. Mobile courts are established for prosecution of offenders during these exercise and state wide implementation in being strengthened.
xiv. Effective cleaning of public places is being improved upon continuously in partnership with NGOs and community groups in cost effective manner.
xv. Public sensitization, stakeholder engagements and community participation is continuously being strengthen for sustainability.
c. Environment, Pollution control and ecology
i. State wide assessment of ecological challenges was conducted in 2016 which has provided baseline data for addressing ecological challenges;
ii. Assessment and Monitoring of pollution by industrial and extractive industries has commence
iii.2017 Focus is currently on making KOSEPB laboratory functional