The Senate yesterday mandated its committee on environment to investigate the implementation of the celebrated Ogoni cleanup exercise. The Federal Government launched the Ogoni cleanup project in June last year with an initial cost of $1 billion.
The Senate equally directed the committee to assess the progress of the Great Green Wall programme initiated to control desertification. These decisions followed the adoption of a motion on “World Environment Day” sponsored by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment, Senator Oluremi Tinubu.
She told her colleagues that it was worrisome that in spite of the launch of the Ogoni cleanup campaign, it does not appear that work has commenced in the area. Tinubu in her lead debate noted that June 5 is World Environment Day, set aside to create awareness for environmental issues and protection of the environment.
The Lagos central lawmaker said that in the light of the country’s environmental issues such as gully erosion in Eastern Nigeria, desertification in the North and large scale environmental degradation in the oil rich South-South, illegal mining, uncontrolled and excavation of laterites, there is a need for the country to be proactive in addressing its environmental issues.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State government has decried the slow pace in the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoniland.
The Commissioner for Environment, Professor Roseline Konya, at an event marking this year’s World Environment Day in Port Harcourt yesterday, said the state government was concerned about the delay in the clean up of the Ogoni environmental and that of the entire Niger Delta six years after the UNEP released detailed report of the despoliation of the region’s environment.
Similarly, the Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF) has decried the delay in implementing the UNEP report and threatened to resist any attempt by the NNPC resume oil exploration in Ogoni land.
OYF National Coordinator, Yamaabana Legborsi, said resumption of oil production in Ogoni without cleaning up the environment first, will consequently cause further damage to the environment.