The Minister of Environment, Mrs. Laurentia Mallam, admitted yesterday that the Federal Government erred in commencing work on the construction of the Second Niger Bridge without consideration for the Environmental Impact Assessment Law, EIA.
Government,according to her, failed to comply with the requirements of the EIA law in embarking on the project.
The ministry has consequently stopped work on the project.
The minister told a Turkish delegation during a courtesy call on her that the bridge construction had to be suspended because “ they did not comply with our ministry’s rule.”
“The Minister of works had to run to me so that we might give them certificate to resume work,”Mrs Mallam said.
The Director, Environmental Impact Assessment Director, Mr. Kehinde Odusanya, who was with the minister, said in response to a question that: “Because of the national interest in that particular project, the Federal Ministry of Works had to request for an interim approval just to commence preparation activities.”
The Environmental Impact Assessment is a formal process used to predict the environmental consequences (positive or negative) of a plan, policy, programme, or project prior to implementation.
It proposes measures to adjust impacts to acceptable levels or to investigate new technological solution.
Although the EIA law can lead to difficult economic decisions, strong political and social commitments, it protects environment with sound basis for effective and sustainable development.