By Abiodun Tadese, Akure.
Ondo State Government has vowed to sanction those who violate various environmental laws in the State as violators will be adequately dealt with in accordance with the Ondo State Environmental Protection Agency Law.
The Special Adviser to Governor Akeredolu on environment, Oyeniyi Oseni made this declaration while delivering his keynote address at a stakeholders forum organized by Ondo State Environmental Protection Agency (ODSEPA).
Oseni noted that environmental issues are cross-cutting and affect all segments of the economy as the environment provides life support system to man.
He however added that sustainable development can only be achieved in an atmosphere of good environmental governance, which pre-supposes effective and adequate environmental compliance monitoring and enforcement mechanism to address environmental problems at all levels.
“The benefits of enforcement of environmental regulations include creation of employment opportunities, protection of the environment and environmental sustainability”,Oseni added.
“It is important to let you know that it will not be business as usual as there will be no hiding place for those who violates environmental laws of Ondo State. While we encourage manufacturing and commercial centers to industrialize the State, we, as Agency of Government saddled with the responsibility of environmental protection, will have zero tolerance for environmental pollutions arising from the activities of the operators, so that people of the State will not suffer unwarranted hardships. That is why this forum must be availed the needed chance to strike a balance between development and sustainability”, The SA said.
In his Goodwill message, the State Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Sunday Akinwalire said our environment is our life so there is the need for everyone to contribute to the keeping the environment safe and healthy for living.
Also speaking at the event, the Director General Ondo State Performance and Project Monitoring Implementation Unit (PPIMU) Engr. Babajide Akeredolu said ODSEPA as an agency of the ministry of Environment will ensure there would be better enforcement and compliance of the environmental laws in the State.
Also, in her address, the administrative Secretary of Ondo State Environmental Protection Agency (ODSEPA), Princess Korede Giwa noted that ODSEPA is resuscitated as the watchdog of the State environment to protect and conserve the environment for the healthy living of all.
She added that the agency shall be working closely with the public and private organisations, industries, business and non-governmental organization to achieve compliance by providing technical and professional assistance in order to combat various environmental challenges within Ondo State.
She however charged every segment of the society to join efforts in ensuring a clean, safe and healthy environment as this will bring about economic development for the entire citizenry.