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NASS, please pass the Environmental Institute bill

Many Nigerians are very happy with the 9th National Assembly over the passage of the Electoral Act 2022 as amended. I am delighted that the…

Many Nigerians are very happy with the 9th National Assembly over the passage of the Electoral Act 2022 as amended.

I am delighted that the Senate has again taken another giant step in the process of making another beautiful legislation that will see a change in the work place safety of the nation. It is the Environment and Safety Management Institute bill 2022 proposed by Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.

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On June 20, 2022, First Bank of Nigeria, Makurdi branch, located along new Otukpo Road, Makurdi, the Benue State capital, witnessed a tragic incident. Mrs Dorcas Mwalaan Liga, the Head Mistress at ECWA Evangel Nursery and Primary School, Kanshio Makurdi, collapsed in the bank while making a transaction and died. 

This death cannot be unconnected to lack of proper first aid especially CPR that could have been administered on her before she was taken to the hospital where she died.

Hardly a month passes without reported case(s) of fire incidents, especially in public places. This portends huge financial damage to the economy

Statistics from the Federal Fire Service indicate that between 2020 and 2021, a total of 4,541 calls were made to the agency nationwide and 378 rescue emergencies were recorded.

The issue of fire is not only the safety challenge affecting us. In 2019, the minister of Labour and Productivity was quoted as saying that 2.78 million workers die from occupational accidents and work-related diseases annually, while additional 374 million suffer from non-fatal occupational accidents globally each year.

Other environmental hazards such as pollution, flooding and desertification have had huge consequences on Nigeria. There is no state of the federation that can boost of an efficient waste management system, not even the Federal Capital Territory.

The bill for the establishment of the Environment and Safety Management Institute proposing a legal frame work for its operation has been in the works since 2016. The institute has been engaging in activities such as organising stakeholders on the need to have a safe and secure environment as well as training volunteers on environmental safety. Such an organization with very lofty aims and objectives should not be allowed to be operating under a shadow. 

I, therefore, commend Senator Kalu for taking such a bold step for legalising  the activities of the institute. I call on all stakeholders such as the ministries of environment, health, agriculture and mines and steel development, to rally round and ensure the bill is passed.

The Environmental and Safety Management Institute bill 2022 is really a child of necessity.

 Martin Iorsamber, is a PhD student in the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Nasarawa State University Keffi

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