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Review of environmental impact assessment for planning projects in Nigeria: a comparative analysis with policy recommendations

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Author: 
Eduak Eduok
Abstract: 

The EIA process that is directed towards best practice for sustainable development is beneficial to both the society and the environment. The paper assesses the effectiveness of EIA practice in Nigeria by ascertaining whether the EIA practiced in Nigeria is in line with guidelines for best practice as provided by International Association of Impact Assessment (IAIA), with specific focus on public participation and EIA follow-up. A questionnaire survey was conducted with 49 respondents from different categories of EIA stakeholders. The respondents included Government officials, EIA consultants/experts, developers, Academics and NGO representatives. The results of the research reveal many weaknesses in the Nigerian EIA practice. 76% of respondents agreed that impact monitoring is ineffective while 70% were of the opinion that EIA awareness is low and that the public is not well informed or encouraged to participate in the EIA process. Incompetence of EIA practitioners, inadequate power of enforcement to the regulatory agencies and poor coordination between stakeholders were also identified as reasons for inadequacies of Nigerian EIA practices. The paper also makes recommendations on how to improve EIA practice in Nigeria. To make EIA more participative, the public must be enlightened and educated through intensive campaigns, they must be well informed about the interventions and their consequences. For impact monitoring to be effective, regulators should be empowered to enforce compliance and trained in impact monitoring techniques. The government, on the other hand, should provide adequate funds and logistics for project monitoring.

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               Prof. Dr. ISMAIL YILDIRIM

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