The Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) says inadequate environmental health officers has hindered the effective service delivery in environmental sanitation and inspection of premises across the country.
Mr Simeon Ajueyitsi, the Director of Environmental Health and Safety, made this known at a one-day seminar for environmental health officers organised by AEPB on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said that inefficient manpower had been a huge challenge faced by the environmental health officers, and the challenge had resulted to poor service delivery in the area of environmental sanitation and inspection activities.
He said that environmental health officers required about 446 to cover 176 populations respectively.
“In the FCT and other states in the country, the number of environmental health officers are few and some of them are not even committed to sanitary inspection of premises.
“Therefore, the need for employment of environmental health officers has become necessary to enhance sanitation inspection across the country.
“Adequate environmental health professionals will help to promote environmental health and improve effective service delivery.
“The operation of environmental health officer in federal, state and local government areas has not been properly felt due to inefficient number of practicing professionals in the labour market,’’ Ajueyitsi said.
Ajueyitsi called on relevant stakeholders to be effectively involved in the inspection of premises, adding that the effort would enhance more coverage and promote effective sanitation across the country.
He, however, advised the environmental health officers to have a team spirit in the inspection of premises as such would help achieve the mandate of the board.
Mr Andy Ukah, the Director, the Environment Health Officer Registration of Council of Nigeria (EHORECON) urged the government agencies and other relevant stakeholders to set a standard that would enhance premises inspection services across the country.
He said government should also enforce programmes that would deal with those who did not comply with the premises inspection service standards.
He encouraged the states and local government areas to monitor and evaluate the activities as well as the effective implementation of sanitation activities and premises inspection.
Ukah, therefore, called for a strong building of environmental health practitioners at all levels through education and training for the effective implementation of premises inspection activities.
Mrs Kate Ogbonna, the AEPB Deputy Director, Environmental Health, said that importance of sanitary inspection of premises was for the correction of insanitary condition.
Ogbonna said that effective sensitisation on the importance of sanitary premises inspection was very necessary to ensure a safe and healthy country.
She said that sanitary inspection of premises “cannot be over emphasised ‘’as it would help to prevent infection diseases such as cholera, typhoid and polio, among others.
She urged Nigerians to join the environmental officers to achieve effective and successful environmental sanitation across the country.
Edited by Celine-Damilola Oyewole/Grace Yussuf