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:
- Review of experiences under the existing EIA Act
- Review of current EIA Approval Process
- Review of EIA process in other jurisdictions
- Understanding of potential E&S footprints of Telecom Infrastructure Projects