Joseph A Adelegan is a Chartered Civil Engineer, Consulting Engineer, University Lecturer and a Researcher at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He holds two Masters degrees both in Water Resources and Environmental Health Engineering and also in Business Administration. He also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Civil Engineering from the University "St Cyril and Methodius", Skopje, Republic of Macedonia. Before arriving at WIT he completed a research fellowship term at the United Nations University, Tokyo, Japan.
Joseph's lecture was on "Environmental Policy and Slaughterhouse Waste in Nigeria" and the ineffectiveness of long established laws and formal governmental structures to address serious environmental problems in most developing countries.
It was stated that regulations are the most common approach to environmental problems. Standards, bans, permits and quotas are often favoured by policy makers because they promise certainty of outcome - without costly monitoring and enforcement, however, this promise may not be realised. Joseph's experience has shown that the traditional command-and-control system to environmental management has not produced the desired result both economically and environmentally. He believes that policy makers should be aware of the potential benefit of mixed environmental policies involving the use of market-based instruments to complement the traditional command-and control system in achieving economic efficiency in the use of the resource.
Joseph went on to say that in recent studies zoonotic diseases (diseases of animals transmitted to humans) are yet to be eliminated or fully controlled in over 80% of the public abattoirs in Nigeria and that they pose a serious environmental health risk. The concern for increases in the level of pollutants in surface and groundwater is justified since a large proportion of rural and urban dwellers obtain domestic water, and sometimes drinking water from ponds, streams and shallow wells.
It was stated by the lecturer that presently, the environmental protection legislation in many developing countries is not properly enforced. There are no incentives for the adoption of pollution abatement measures and very few disincentives for polluting the environment. Wastes are disposed indiscriminately especially for small and medium scale industries.
He went on to say that one of the major goals for environmental regulation has been to reduce water pollution, however there has been no clearly established, coordinated policy framework to define this. Up to now heavy reliance has been placed on qualitative legal rules. The benefits of a clean environment would be available only if the generators of pollutants are encouraged to invest in pollution prevention and abatement technologies with the help of a judicious mix of regulatory policies economic incentives and fiscal instruments.
The options available to the policy makers were described as Legislation and regulation indicating the water quality standards for rivers and lakes, for effluents discharged into water bodies and for providing the machinery for implementation of these regulations; Quantitative restrictions (quotas) on effluent discharged by each industry or a group of industries; Influencing the behaviour of industrial firms by selecting appropriate levels of effluent charges and pollution taxes; and by providing investment support and soft loans for investment in effluent treatment plants for a single unit or a group of small scale industries or for a municipality for common treatment facilities.