The Federal Government has fixed June 2 launch the beginning of the Ogoni Clean-up programme as contained in the United Nations Environment Programme Report, the Minister of the Environment, Amina Muhammed, has said.
Muhammed disclosed this on Thursday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, during a courtesy visit to Governor Nyeson Wike.
Represented by Minister of State for the Environment, Ibrahim Usman, the minister said the visit was to seek the collaboration of all stakeholders in the clean-up exercise.
She said: “The programme is expected to be launched on June 2.
“It has been designed to be driven by all stakeholders in the region.
“The essence of this is to ensure that the people of Ogoni and the region at large benefitted from the process.”
Wike, represented by his deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Banigo, expressed the willingness of the state government to partner the Federal Government in implementing the UNEP report.
The governor expressed joy at the commitment of the Federal Government in the UNEP report implementation process.
Wike said: “As a state, we strongly reiterate our support towards the implementation of the UNEP report on Ogoniland.
“We are excited to see the drive of the Federal Government in ensuring that the Ogoni clean-up exercise becomes a reality.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that at the request of the Federal Government, UNEP undertook a study on issues of environmental devastation in Ogoniland.
The report covered contaminated land, groundwater, surface water, sediment, vegetation, air pollution, public health, industry practices and institutional issues in Ogoniland.
The study recommended that the environmental clean-up and restoration of Ogoniland is possible, but may take between 25 years and 30 years to achieve.
It also noted that “most members of the current Ogoniland community had lived with chronic oil pollution throughout their lives”.
The report had compelled Nigerian authorities and multinational oil companies operating in the area to clean-up the pollution caused by decades of oil exploration activities in the area.