Ogoniland clean up to take place before the end of the year – Minister

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    Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, has reaffirmed the Federal Government’s commitment towards the cleanup of oil devastated Ogoniland in Niger Delta, saying that the cleanup will happen before the end of the first year of this administration.

    The minister who disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting on the cleanup of Ogoniland and other impacted areas in the Niger Delta, at the weekend in Port Harcourt, warned that the process will not be a money-sharing galore, but emphasised the need for adequate security for an effective implementation of the clean-up exercise.

    The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) had recently conducted an assessment of the environment and public health impacts of oil contamination in Ogoniland, and reported that the sustainable environmental restoration of Ogoniland will take 25 to 30 years to achieve.

    For this long term process, the minister while speaking at the stakeholders’ meeting noted that the sensitisation forum was necessary to ensure that the interest of all affected communities including women, children and youths were captured in the cleanup process.
    “Security is very important to the cleanup process of Ogoniland and roles of the state government are so vital. It is not about sharing money. It is about investing in the future of the people of Ogoniland. In the next few weeks, we will begin to roll out the timeline,” she said.

    The event which had in attendance Ogoniland’s paramount ruler, His Majesty, King Godwin Gininwa; Ambassador of The Royal Kingdom of Netherlands, Mr John Groffen; Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Ibim Seminitari and Commissioner of Environment, Rivers State, Professor Roselyn Konya, among others, was a platform for all stakeholders to address the issue and recommend solutions.

    The minister’s dedication and commitment over time has attracted international players in the environment sector, as she has been up and doing in the past month, relating with stakeholders in the country and beyond to create partnerships that would enhance environmental sustainability in the country.

    While receiving President, Board of Trustees, Gas to Health Initiative, Alhaji Sani Dangote, to the ministry’s headquarter in Abuja recently, ways of exploring renewable energy potential with focus on empowering people and fighting climate change, were discussed.

    The minister also recently received international artiste, Aliaume Damala Thiam, better known as Akon and his delegation at the Nigerian Mission to UN, where she spoke about the Federal Government’s Great Green Wall project, noting that Nigeria remains committed to improving the livelihoods of Nigerians through access to energy and job creation.

    The Senegalese-American singer recently launched Akon Lighting Africa initiative’s Solar Academy, which is aimed at providing an affordable source of electricity to 600 million Africans. Since its launch in Mali’s capital, Bamako, Akon says the institution has made significant progress by installing solar street lights for public lighting and home service systems for household use.

    The minister, during the recent trip to the United States, also had a meeting with Kathy Calvin, President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Nations Foundation, and Radha Muthiah, CEO, Global Alliance for Clean Cook Stove, on how to improve the cooking environment for women in Nigeria.

    Source: The Tribune Online

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