The Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORECON) and the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESRA) intend to synergise their practice regulations.
This is to bridge the gap between such agencies and move the profession of sanitation forward, said the Registrar, EHORECON, Sanitarian Dominic Abonyi, stating that environmental health practice had up to 17 facets of environmental health practice and out of these facets up to eight or nine were practiced in NESRA through its mandate.
The Registrar said, in a statement, that part of the job of the Council was to look at these service areas, be it in NESRA, NOSDRA and any other service agency to see if there was manpower and bridge it.
According to Abonyi, the National Universities Commission (NUC) had given approval to three Universities, namely; Bayero University, Kano, Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka and University of Ife to mount environmental health programmes and produce professionals at this level.
The Registrar revealed that Council in its wisdom in 2009 decided that individual(s) who are already practicing as scientific officers and who may wish to become environmental health officers need to do one thing, which is, to realign and get all of them on the register.
Earlier in his speech, the Director General, National Environmental Standard and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESRA) Dr. Lawrence Anukam acknowledged the role being played by EHORECON, saying environment is everything around you, adding that you must understand a bit of the economy of the environment, you must understand the religion of the environment and you must understand the culture of that environment.
Anukam, while extoling the role being played by sanitary inspectors, went down memory lane, saying it was an abomination by every African culture for anyone to use chemicals to fish, even to burn bush, leathers, you need to plan it properly.
According to the NESRA boss, the whole concept had grown to sustainable development but the origin of that is Africa and back to African professionalism.
In the area of practice guide, the NESRA boss agreed that there was a little bit of disconnect between EHORCEON and NESRA and this could be worked out by creating a forum between the two agencies such as to make a thorough presentation and everybody will understand because we can leverage the manpower the Council creates, he said.
Dr. Anukam further, reiterated that he wants the relationship between EHORECON and NESRA to be more cordial, saying that “cordial is the major word but we look at where we are going to have a lot more synergy,” adding also that “we look at the area of commonality so that you can use your leverage as a big regulator in training.”
He, however, appreciated the Council for the visit, stating that he would make sure that NESRA was present at any activity to be organised by the Council, if invitation was extended to them.