On the 23rd and 24th of January, 2017, I led the committee members on Environment and Habitat – Honourables; Aishatu Dukku – Gombe, Austin Ch ukwukere – Imo, Ogbeide Ihama – Edo, Henry Nwawuba – Imo, Tajudeen Obasa – Lagos, Bamidele Samson Baderinwa – Ondo, Sodaguno Festus - Omoni-Bayelsa, Umar Jega – Kebbi, Dozie Nwankwo – Anambra, Sadiq Ibrahim – Adamawa, Kunle Akinlade – Ogun, Shehu Musa Aliyu – Bauchi, Chidi Frank – Rivers, on Oversight Visit to seven government agencies under the Ministry of Environment.
We made our first stop at the Headquarters of the National Parks Services located at Utako, Abuja and the Acting-Conservator General (Acting CG) of the National Park Service (NPS) Alh. Tunde Hussein and his management team welcomed us. The Acting CG led us on a tour of the premises of the NPS while giving a brief history of the National Parks in Nigeria as overseen by the National Park Services which includes the following:
1. Okomu National Park located at Udo, Edo State.
2. Kamuku National Park located at Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State
3. Chad Basin National Park located at Chad, Bornu State
4. Gashaka Gumti National Park at Serti, Taraba State
6. Cross River National Park located at Calabar, Cross River State
7. Kaiji Lake National Park located between Niger/Kwara State
Afterwards, we were led into the Museum of the National Park Service where some artifacts - stuffed animal heads, animal skins, ostrich eggs, elephant skull, a savanna forest replication, dane-guns to mention but a few were on display. The National Park Service also took us on a tour of the animal shelter containing some animals donated by animal lovers or rescued by well-meaning citizens.
During the interactive session, the Acting CG remarked that state governments are not helping matters by championing the issue of publicity and maintenance of the
parks in the states they are situated in. In response to his remark, I stated that the job of rebranding the NPS and ensuring better and improved publicity must be commenced and championed by the Agency itself before private individuals or state governments can partner with the NPS in order to ensure better revenue for the NPS. I also remarked that some countries depend solely on tourism as their economic mainstay and Nigeria should not be found wanting.
When we left NPS, we entered NATIONAL BIOSAFETY AGENCY which incidentally is housed within the premises of the National Park Services. We were received by the DG/CEO of the Agency, Dr Rufus Ebegba who explained the role of the agency since its inception via the National Biosafety Agency Act of 2015.
The ND/CEO of the Agency led us on a tour of one of their laboratories while explaining what the equipment were called and their respective use. Before leaving the agency, I admonished them to take time to put their papers in place as they would be required to give very detailed report on their budget, projections and target.
Our next stop was the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA). The DG/CEO of the NOSDRA, Dr Peter Idabor with his management team welcomed us and led us to a conference room where interactive session with salient facts and details traded between the two teams.
We ended our Oversight visit (Day 1) at the National Environmental Standard Regulation and Enforcement Agency (NESREA). We were received by Dr. Lawrence Chidi Anukam, the MD/CEO of the Agency. After a brief interactive session with the MD/CEO and his management team, they were advised to ensure that they take the time needed to put their affairs in order as they would be expected to analyze and give detail report on their budget and financial projections.
The second day, 24th January, 2017, we visited Federal Ministry of Environment, Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria and National Agency for Grazing Wall.
Attached are the pictures…