The Environment and Safety Management Institute’s annual Regional Stakeholders’ Discussion brings together high profile dignitaries and experts across Nigeria to discuss issues of national importance. Over the years, reputable personalities are invited to lead the discussion in order to come up with resolutions that will impact positively to the economic development of Nigeria. It is the hope and desire of the institute that in the next five to ten years, the RSDES will be an event every stakeholder will be yearning to be part of due to the impact of its resolutions.

This time, the event had the theme, “Closing Ranks for Environmental Safety and the Economic Development of Southern Nigeria’’ and was held at the University of Ibadan international conference centre Ibadan, southwest Nigeria. The RSDES drew participants across Traditional rulers, Union leaders as well as representatives from Ministries, departments and agencies of government.

In his address, the Director General of the institute Mr. Benedict Utile, represented by the ESMI National President, Mr. Martin Iorsamber, said the institute has created Environment and Safety Volunteers who are trained to handle emergency and safety challenges in the environment. He also stated that the institute is planning to build an environment and safety research centre to train youths in environmental stewardship in all ramifications. According to him, the centre will provide manpower for the management of environment and safety of the country and beyond and called on government and individuals to support the institute to achieve its mandate. The director general urged governments in Southern Nigeria to provide urban security and safety watch systems while mobilizing forces to tackle environmental safety and security threats.

He commended the Federal Government for setting up vital agencies for environmental safety and urged that law enforcement agencies should collaborate more to close any gaps, emphasizing that the institute is ready to work with all agencies to coordinate this synergy.

ESMI Registrar, Evelyn Agu addressing the stakeholders

In his keynote address, Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu urged more sensitization of the people about the need to ensure a sustainable environment for economic development. Akeredolu, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ondo State Ministry of Environment, Mr. Akin Asaniyan, said that environmental challenges, including climate change, had become causes for much concern. He said the South West governors were committed to protecting property and lives of the citizens as one of the primary responsibilities of any government.

Earlier, the Minister of Education, Prof. Adamu Adamu, said the theme was of interest to both local and international bodies. Adamu, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) University of Ibadan, Prof. Ezekiel Ayoola, said that environment, health and safety of people were important issues that should concern all stakeholders. He urged the participants to come up with solutions that would serve Southern Nigeria and the entire country.

Cross Section of some stakeholders at the RSD

Climax of the event was presentation of national safety awards to encourage individuals who are promoting safety of lives and environment. The institute also did fellowship induction and graduated the September to November candidates.