“A Bill for an Act to amend the Environmental Impact Assessment Act Cap E12, LFRN, 2004 (the Act), to strengthen the process of approvals and decision making on project inclusive and for related matters”, has been introduced by the National Assembly.
The EIA Bill seeks to, among other things, expand the role of the NESREA as well as improve the process by including the local community and other interested parties more in the process. Whilst the principal purpose of the Bill is laudable the cost/operational practicality of the provisions is bound to be a matter of concern.
A review of the Act is definitely, a move in the right direction, as the current process as prescribed in the 1992 Act is quite elaborate and expensive. It might therefore be expedient to carry out a more extensive review of the Act after due consultation with relevant stakeholders.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is globally recognized as one of the key instruments for ensuring sustainable development. EIA ensures advance consideration of and proactive planning for health, safety, environmental and socio-economic issues associated with a project and ensures there is a balance between development and the environment.
EIA for telecom projects in Nigeria is mandatory and required to be site specific. Telecom infrastructure, specifically Base Transceiver Stations require rapid roll-out; unfortunately the process and timeline associated with the current EIA process do not support operator’s roll out objectives. In view of the identified challenges and the on-going review of existing EIA Act of 1992; Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Ltd. ‘Etisalat’, identified an opportunity to improve the EIA process for telecom projects and put forward an ‘Alternative EIA Process’ for Telecoms Infrastructure Projects for consideration by the NCC & Federal Min of Environment.
The proposed Alternative EIA Process was developed to fully align with the Draft EIA Act put together by the FMEnv. The proposal is based on the following:
The Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria is a body corporate, duly registered under the laws of Federal Republic of Nigeria as an Incorporated Trustee, and officially recognized by the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Nigerian Communications Commission as the official industry body for all licensed providers of telecommunications and subsidiary services in Nigeria.
The major objectives of the Association is to foster inter-network cooperation and industry harmony amongst all the operators and the regulator in the country, as well as provide a platform for industry/stakeholders interaction and collaboration for the advancement of the Nigerian telecommunications market. The Association is committed to enhancing growth in the Nigerian ICT sector, whilst ensuring a healthy balance between market growth/profitability for the operators and efficient/affordable service delivery to the subscribers.
We recently received an invitation for a public hearing to hold in the House of Assembly on Tuesday the 31st of May 2016, on two Bills on Competition and Antitrust.
The two Bills are as follows:
The Action Points and Resolutions reached at the ALTON General Meeting held at the ALTON Secretariat, No. 5 Amodu Ojikutu Street, Victoria Island on Thursday, 16th April, 2015 are provided hereunder:
1. That ALTON received a letter from one of its members and informal complaints from some other members reporting Threats to Telecommunications Operations in Nigeria and the need to take urgent action.
2. That some States such as Enugu, Anambra, Plateau and Imo have constantly harassed/threatened Operators to compel the payment of illegal taxes and levies.
3. That all process of negotiation have failed culminating in in the shutting down of some telecoms facilities in the aforementioned States