Environmental Impact Assessment as a Tool for A Sustainable Environment in Nigeria

Globally, discussions on environmental degradation and unintended outcome of global warming and climate change have taken the centre stage. The impact of climate change and its extreme weather conditions now ravage most countries of the world. In Nigeria, desertification, flooding, excessive rain, excessive heat, poor agricultural output, and public health issues are some of the signs experienced. These, also have implications for extreme poverty level, insecurity, migration, food shortage, and etcetera. A multi- pronged approach is required to combat these menace. Environmental degradation could arise from a wrong decision in locating a project in a particular environment. This could be power project, road construction, dam construction, telecommunications mast, industrial construction and others. The law requires that an Environmental Impact Assessment be conducted before such projects are executed, in other to assess the social, economic and environmental impacts of such projects in the affected community. Most of the time, this process is poorly done and the affected communities are not carried along in such decision making process. This has resulted in environmental degradation arising from project construction by government, public and private companies alike. This paper reviewed some important segments of the Environmental Impact Assessment Act of Nigeria especially in the power generating projects; suggested a more sustainable practice and procedure that will leapfrog Nigeria into having a sustainable environment. It concluded that a streamlined process devoid of corruption that includes citizens’ engagement and public participation ought to create a more sustainable environmental impact assessment in Nigeria