The Federal Ministry of Environment has commended federal University Otuoke for being first out of the fourteen Federal Universities established by President Goodluck Jonathan to be subjected to panel review.
This commendation was contained in the opening address by the Minister of Environment Mrs. Laurentia Laraba Mallam delivered at the Technical Panel review meeting on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on the proposed Federal University Otuoke, Bayelsa State by the National Universities Commission (NUC) in Yenagoa on 17th March 2015.
The Minister, represented by T.L. Joshua also Head of the delegation, stated that although the establishment of FUO is expected to contribute significantly to the development of Otuoke and Bayelsa State, certain activities involved during the construction and operational phases of the school may generate some negative impact on the environment.
The Federal Ministry of Environment has therefore been mandated to regulate necessary institutional framework of intervention to arrest environmental degradation.
The Minister therefore urged stakeholders to contribute meaningfully on how to integrate the project for environmental protection, stressing that the EIA process is not to forestall project implementation but rather ensure project and environmental sustainability.
Presenting facts about Federal University Otuoke at the meeting, Vice Chancellor Mobolaji Aluko called on the Federal Government to intervene in some aspect of the school project.
“We need intervention for the channelization of the canal, not just for the University but for the community itself”. The VC said.
The panel review meeting was properly organized consisting of an opening session, Technical session and Closed door session where the review panel met to finalize public hearing conclusions.
Panel members were, Prof. Sika Orupabo as the panel Chairman, a Socio-economic expert - Dr. Jibril Edicha, an Ecology expert – Dr. Olajide Opeyemi, and Waste management expert – Arch. Niyi Kehinde.
Others were the representative of Bayelsa State Commissioner for Environment and Representative Ogbia Local Government Area.
The panel review meeting formed part of a 3-day visit by the EIA delegation from 15th – 17th March 2015
On 16th March 2015, the EIA delegation had undertaken a site tour of FUO Campus to ascertain the physical state of the environment.
The presentation of the draft EIA report to the Review panel by Federal University Otuoke is towards securing EIA certification and approval.