The Constitution of Nigeria1 of 1999, in section 20 of Chapter II, gives responsibility to the State for environmental protection and improvement through measures to safeguard the water, air, land, forest, and wildlife in the country.
The Federal Environmental Protection Agency Act establishes the same Agency with responsibility to protect and develop the environment and initiate policy related to environmental research and technology. The Agency has the power to establish environmental criteria, specifications and standards in order to protect Nigeria's air and inter-state waters and safeguard the health and welfare of the population from environmental degradation.
The Environmental Impact Assessment Act has the objective to ensure that the environmental effects of private or public activities are taken into account before any such activities are undertaken. Section 4 of Part I lists the criteria for the content of environmental impact assessments. Part II describes the process of environmental assessment of proposed projects.
In 1999, The Federal Ministry of Environment (FME) took over FEPA in administering and enforcing environmental law. The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) performs the same functions to ensure a cleaner and healthier environment. In addition, many State and local governments, as empowered by the FEPA Act, have established their own environmental protection bodies to function within their borders. National and State Environmental Action Plans have also been developed and implemented.
Additional information on legislation and other environmental matters can be accessed through the official websites of Nigeria's Federal Environmental Protection Agency and the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency.