Oyo to inaugurate environmental tribunal

By Olubunmi Osoteku, Ibadan

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The Oyo State Governor has approved the formation of environmental tribunals to enhance the enforcement of environmental laws and averting possible flooding.

Governor Seyi Makinde gave assurance that arrangements were in top gear to conduct the first environmental summit where all stakeholders would generate solutions to the environmental challenges facing the State.

He said it would make the state safer and more hygienic.

Improper disposal of refuse
The revelations were made by the Oyo State Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Mr Kehinde Ayoola, during a Press Conference on: “Flood Alert and Preparedness of Ibadan Metropolis,” held at the Film Theatre of the Ministry of Information, Mass Mobilisation, Culture and Tourism, Agodi Secretariat, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

Noting that the environmental tribunals would soon be inaugurated by Governor Makinde, Ayoola said the Ministry of Environment has found out that the bad environmental habits and improper disposal of refuse in different parts of the State.

He said they were things that would require continuous engagement of the people on the need to change their attitude.

Victim of flooding
The Environment Commissioner said the Press Conference became imperative to alert and update the people, following the predictions of the Nigeria Hydrological Service Agency (NIHSA) on the 2019 annual flood outlook, which fingered Oyo State as a likely victim of flooding.

“As you are very much aware, the government of Engineer Seyi Makinde, since its assumption of Office over three months ago has placed huge premium on environmental cleanliness and rectitude as a way of life. Our Governor did not mince words in his condemnation of improper waste disposal, among other factors that cause periodic flooding in Ibadan and other parts of Oyo State.”

Ayoola noted that the Nigeria Hydrological Service Agency (NIHSA) recently addressed a Press Conference which provided updates on its earlier released 2019 Annual Flood Outlook, explainig that the updated report gave a frightening prediction of flooding in most states of Nigeria in the last tranche of the 2019 rainy season, with Oyo State, Ibadan in particular, fingered among the likely victims.

“The vulnerability of Ibadan to river and urban flooding is induced by the city’s topographic terrain, the problem of indiscriminate waste disposal, building of houses on flood plains, with the tendency of all the foregoing even being aggravated by the universal menace of global warming and climate change.”

Funding and technical assistance
He stated that the Oyo State government has consequently expressed its unreserved commitment to the full implementation of the Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project (IUFMP), the state-owned flood risk mitigation project, with funding and technical assistance from the World Bank.

The Commissioner stated, “I want to inform you that four environmental tribunals have been approved and will soon be inaugurated by His Excellency. We are aware that there is no way you can keep these cities clean without enforcement and we just have to ensure that we enforce the extant environmental regulations.”

Funding and technical assistance
Ayoola declared that before the next rainy season, there would be three different phases of engagement with the public, where the people would he informed, enlightened and educated on the need for them to have their environment kept clean and their refuse properly disposed.

“In the ministry, we are also planning to have an environmental summit which will also happen before the next rain. At that environmental summit, we are going to bring in all critical stakeholders, everybody whose activities, directly or indirectly, either individually or as a corporate organisation, impact on the environment such as the air, land or even bodies of waters.”

Ayoola was accompanied by his host Commissioner-counterpart, Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun, permanent secretaries, Dr Bashir Olanrewaju (Environemnt and Natural resources), Mr Gabriel Oguntola (Information), Governor Makinde’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Taiwo Adisa, Project Coordinator, Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project, Mr Adedayo Ayorinde, directors from both ministries and officials of the IUFMP.

 

Lateefah Ibrahim