The Nigeria Police has been told to be more vigilant and effective in monitoring environmental crimes in the country so as to ensure environmental safety and human lives. Making the call was Barrister Lawrence Alobi, Commissioner of Police (Rtd) during an interactive training seminar on good environmental governance at the Force Headquarters, Federal Capital, Abuja, which held on Thursday, 28th September, 2017.
The interactive session which was meant to consolidate on NESREA/Police collaboration and partnership in broadening environmental awareness and enforcement procedures as well as build capacity was attended by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Training, Mr. Emmanuel T. Inyang, who represented the I.G, a broad Section of Police Top brass as well as NESREA Directors.
Barrister Alobi, in his brief remarks, called for more Police effectiveness in monitoring and arresting of environmental crimes stating that as Principal Law Enforcement Agents in Nigeria, it was their duty to ensure the safety of the environment. “You cannot say it is not my duty anymore, because the environment is you and therefore your responsibility”, he stressed.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Training, Mr. Emmanuel T. Inyang thanked the Management of NESREA for the wonderful enlightenment session and gave assurances of the Police collaboration as well as pledging the inclusion of the NESREA Training Manual in the Nigeria Police Training Curriculum. “We in the Nigeria Police deserve to know more about good environmental governance and this interactive session is well in order”, he admitted.
Earlier, the Director-General, NESREA, Dr Lawrence Chidi Anukam had given an elaborate account on the programmes and activities of the Agency pointing out the long history of collaboration between the two Federal Institutions.
Dr Anukam stated that the Agency was working to smoothen effective Police involvement in environmental compliance monitoring and enforcement activities adding that there are several ways to strengthen the collaboration, some of which are the National Environmental Security Task Force, Environmental Training for Police Officers, Inclusion of Environmental Training Manual in the Curriculum of Nigeria Police Training Colleges, etc. “It is important we get this right and to do this we need to get the Police into what we do”, he explained.
Dr Anukam gave a breakdown of some of the hitherto ignored incidences such as the dangers in the use of mercury and other seemingly harmless chemicals which later turned out to be dangerous decades later. “The time to start monitoring and enforcing this development is now”, he said.
The Director-General further disclosed that the Interactive Session was necessary as some key programmes of the Agency such as the, National Vehicular Emission Control Programmes (NVECP), The National Generator Emission Control Programme (GEP) and the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programmes which involve a large measure of enforcement are soon to come on board. “The Police needs to know what constitute environmental crime and be in a position to do justice to it. This is why this training is important”, he added.