The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) has shut down eight companies for allegedly contravening various environmental laws, policies and guidelines regulating their operations in Akwa Ibom state
Iwobi Angela Ngozi, the state Coordinator of the Agency, who announced this in Uyo, the state capital said the affected companies did not produce an Environmental Audit Report as required by law for their operations.
Iwobi listed the firms shut down by the NESREA as Hensek Integrated Nigeria Ltd, Basse Engineering & Michel Ltd, Peacock Paints Ltd and Wizchino Engineering Ltd
Others include Lion Plywood and Timber Nig Ltd, China Civil Engineering Construction Ltd, VKS Nig Ltd and DPL Construction Ltd.
She disclosed that the companies have been operating in the state for a long time not minding the requisite environmental laws that regulate their operations.
These violations, she said, persisted despite efforts by the agency to sensitize and enlighten them on the effects of their actions on the environment.
” VKS and DPL obstructed us when we visited them during our routine checks. The security men at the gate attacked the team sent from our agency and prevented us from entering the company’s facility. That alone was another offence that attracted another penalty. These penalties must be paid before we reopen their facility for operation.
“Notice for obstructing the team and the penalty have been sent to them. Contrary to section 31 of NESREA established Act, It is an offence for officers of the agency to be obstructed from performing their duties,” she said.
She noted that the agency’s compliance monitoring and enforcement activities are structured and carried out based on the provisions of 33 National Environmental Regulations”
She said the companies ignored all the notification of concerned letters and Abatement notices issued to enable them carry out their operations in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner.
Iwobi assured that the agency would continue to embark on nationwide enforcement exercises to end an era of gross negligence and non-adherence to set standards and regulations by some industries whose activities pose a serious threat to the environment.
“The level of impunity exhibited by these erring facilities must not be allowed to continue. This exercise is ongoing and the agency will, without warning, go ahead to sanction any facility that falls below regulatory standards,” she said.
BusinessDay made efforts to reach some of the affected companies for their responses but they could not be reached.