By G9ija

The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) has sealed 7 companies operating in Rivers for non-compliance to operational guidelines of the agency.

South Souuth Zonal Director of the agency, Mr Ayuba Jacob, made this known on Wednesday shortly after a routine exercise by a combined enforcement team of the Port Harcourt Zonal headquarters.

Speaking on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the agency, Prof. Aliyu Jauro, the Zonal Director said that the exercise was part of a nationwide strategy aimed at achieving a clean and safe environment in Nigeria.

“Today, no fewer than seven facilities have been sealed by our officers, the affected facilities have violated our extant environmental regulations and neglected our numerous warnings.

“This exercise will serve as a deterrent to others who had yet to comply to the agency’s operational guidelines.

“The affected facilities were specifically food and beverage, chemical, metal and other facilities whose operations have been polluting the environment. They shall remain shot down pending conclusion on their environmental audits,” he said.

The Director, therefore, enjoined Nigerians to contribute to a safe environment by reporting facilities that endulge in activities which are detrimental to the environment.

“This exercise is an ongoing process and the Agency will, without further warning, go ahead to sanction any facility that falls below regulatory standards,” he said.

Worried over non-compliance by defulting companies, the NESREA boss said that several sensitization and warnings have been directed to operating companies prior to the enforcement exercise.

“The level of impunity exhibited by these erring facilities must not be allowed to continue.

“Despite series of notification via ‘Concern Letters and Abatement Notices’ to these industries and facilities, they had yet to carry out their operations and activities in line with set standard.

“On that note, the Agency is carrying out a nationwide enforcement exercise to bring an end to gross negligence and non-adherence to set standards and regulations by operating companies.

“We are determined to clamp down on any industry or facility whose operations poses a threat to the environment,” he added.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NESREA is an Agency of the Federal Ministry of Environment saddled with the responsibility of enforcing all environmental laws, guidelines, policies, standards and regulations in Nigeria.

The agency is also responsible for prohibiting the use of equipment or technology that undermine environmental standards especially as it affects air quality, surface and underground water quality and even noise pollution.