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The House of Representatives Committee on Environment has cautioned the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) against meddling with the functions of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) in the agency’s efforts to protect the environment.
The Committee Chairman made the statement while addressing an interactive session of the two government agencies at the National Assembly during a joint sitting with the members of the House Committee on Communication.
Picking holes in the defence of the NCC Executive Vice Chairman, Dr Eugene Juwah, that NESREA was embarking on arbitrarily sealing spree of base stations and also conflicting regulations, Honourable Uche Ekwunife disagreed and insisted that NCC’s action in re-opening a sealed base station without due consultation with NESREA was unacceptable and run counter of Mr Presidents Transformation Agenda, adding that NESREA was lawfully carrying out its statutory functions and obligations.
She further advised the NCC representatives not to obstruct NESREA in carrying out its functions in protecting the environment.
Earlier, the Director-General of NESREA, Dr (Mrs) Ngeri S. Benebo, represented by Director of Administration and Finance , Mr Timothy Okeowo, explained to the Committee that NESREA’s action was in response to the numerous public complaints and towards ensuring the safety of human health and the environment in accordance with globally accepted standards.
He also reiterated that the issue of the 10 meter setback was the minimal prescribed by national law to ensure the protection of Nigerians.
The Director-General’s representative made it clear that NESREA had never shut down any base station without complaints from members of the public, and even then, “we always follow due process by writing to the operators concerned to abate the nuisance; it is only when they fail to comply that NESREA then seals the facility”.Share