To guarantee safer, cleaner and healthier environment, the Ogun State government has called on all stakeholders and the general public to inculcate the culture of voluntary compliance with environmental laws and regulations.
Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Bolaji Oyeleye, made this call at a 2-day Management Retreat, organized for management staff and other relevant agencies, noted that the State government had over the years, committed resources to enforcement of its Environmental Laws, saying it was time for strategic promotion of voluntary compliance to the general public.
The Commissioner enjoined members of the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) and other stakeholders to promote self-regulation, as a crucial step towards achieving voluntary compliance in the nearest future, adding that government would always ensure that enforcement comes as a last resort.
He charged the management staff of the Ministry and its sister agencies to use the opportunity presented by the retreat to sharpen the requisite skills for encouraging voluntary compliance.
Delivering a paper titled, ‘’Promoting Voluntary Compliance of Environmental Laws and Regulations by Stakeholders and the General Public’’, a Lecturer at the Department of Environmental Management and Toxicology, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Dr. Olusegun Oguntoke, said the primary goal of enforcement of environmental law and regulations was to encourage voluntary compliance.
He noted that forced policing, unlike voluntary engagement required huge resources, more manpower and has tendency to lead to hostile relationship between regulators and other stakeholders.
Oguntokun added that environmental issues should be given same level of priority as job creation and economic growth, calling on government to scale-up publicity for enforcement actions and need for voluntary compliance.
Earlier in his welcome address, The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Mr. Kunle Osota, said the retreat was organized to provide platform for the management staff to maximize the resources available, to achieve set goals on environmental management.