The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) has commended Fidelity Bank Plc and Union Bank Plc for complying with the directive both in submission and payment for the Environmental Audit Reports (EAR), while threatening to publish names of defaulters in the national dailies from December, 2022.
Recall that the directive to submit the EAR for banks nationwide was issued in October, 2021.
Till date, only two banks; Fidelity Bank Plc and Union Bank Plc, have fully complied with the directive.
10 banks are in the near completion status in the submission of their EAR’s, while six have failed to submit their EAR to the Agency. The rest of the banks have only made submissions for some states and regions of the country.The director general(DG)/CEO, NESREA, Prof. Aliyu Jauro, who disclosed this at the interactive session with banks nationwide, in Lagos, said most banks auction their e-waste and used inverter batteries to staff, some are given at near end-of-life to schools as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), some of the waste equipment are given to unregistered vendor (collectors) and some are disposed alongside general waste.
He added that, the oil spillage around the generator sets powering some the banks are unpleasant sites and breeds pollutions that are not easily remediated after repositioning of the generator.
Jauro said the environmental concerns raised in the banking sector brought about the need for collaboration towards the implementation of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programme in prohibiting sales of used and end-of-life batteries to unregistered collectors and recyclers.
The recommendation amongst others is that Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) should prepare and submit Environmental Audit Reports (EAR) and Environmental Management Plan (EMP) to the Agency in the adoption of sustainable banking principles and in compliance with relevant environmental laws, he added.
He, however, called on non–compliant banks to submit their EAR or letter of engagement of NESREA accredited consultant/s to carry out their Environmental Assessment (EA) on or before 15th December 2022, adding that, banks that are yet to pay for the administrative fees and those that have outstanding branches yet to be submitted should do so before 10th December 2022.
He tasked banks to ensure that non-functional waste equipment are not trashed amongst general waste and the banks must take responsibility to follow up on the destination of any waste equipment auctioned or sold out to staff or given out under the pretext of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
“Give their waste equipment only to collectors registered with NESREA (list available on website); Build a bund wall around power generating sets to contain the incidence of oil spillage and possible runoff and absorption into the underground water as well as concretise the floor within the bund wall; Use environmentally friendly power sources such as solar, hybrid etc and all power generating sets shall be sound proof and shall conform with the permissible noise level stipulated in National Environmental Regulation,” he advised.