Tuesday, November 8, 2011

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH OFFICERS REGISTRATION COUNCIL OF NIGERIA

The Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria is a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Environment. The Council was established by Act 11 of 2002. The Act was signed into law by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCON and is published in the Official Gazette No. 150 Volume 89 of 27th December, 2002. The Council was first inaugurated on the 15th of March 2004 by the former Minister of Environment Col. Bala Mande (Rtd.) on behalf of former President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

1.0 The Council however took off fully with full complement of staff and equipment in 2008. The Council has 11 member- Board, chaired by His Royal Highness Alhaji (Dr.) Yunusa Muhammadu Danyaya OON (Emir of Ningi). The tenure of the present Council expired in March 2011.

1.1 The Council is charged with the responsibilities of registering and licensing Environmental Health Officers previously called Sanitary Inspectors or Health Inspectors and regulating the profession of Environmental Health profession in Nigeria.

1.2 The objectives of the Council as stated in Section 2 of the Act are to: -

i) Determining the standard of knowledge and skill to be attained by persons seeking to become members of the profession of Environmental Health Officers and improving the standard set from time to time;

ii) Securing the establishment and maintenance of a Register of Environmental Health Officers and publication of such register from time to time;

iii) Conducting examinations and awarding certificates or diplomas to successful candidates under a prescribed fee; and

iv) Performing other functions as may be conferred by the Act.

The Challenge of Harnessing the Professions Potentials by the Ministry.
Today, the largest pull of manpower across the country trained specifically for environmental protection is the Environmental Health Officers. They are found in the State Ministries of Environment, Environmental Protection Agencies, Waste Management Boards and in the Departments of Environment at the Local Government Areas in States where this department is created or in the Primary Health Care Department in others.

These professionals are a force which the Ministry has not exploited to get her message of environmental protection and other concerns to the various communities.
We believe this cadre can be used to develop such vital areas as Environmental data collection system where various data on environmental indicators are routinely collected by them in the course of their work and centrally collated at the state and routinely sent to the Federal Ministry of Environment for national collection for planning purposes.

The present situation where no reliable data is routinely collected and when such data are required and we rely on estimates and other ad-hoc methods is not good for the growth and effectiveness of the Environment sector.