Senate Probes $1Billion Ogoni Clean Up Project

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By Nuel Suji – The Senate on Tuesday mandated its committee on environment to investigate the implementation of the celebrated Ogoni Cleanup exercise.

Last year June the Federal Government launched the Ogoni Cleanup project with initial cost price of $1 billion.

Same committee would equally investigate the Ogoni Cleanup and assess the progress of the Great Green Wall programme initiated to control desertification.

These followed a motion sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central) on “World Environment Day”  expressing worry that in spite of the launch of the Ogoni Cleanup Campaign, it does not appear that work has commenced in the area.

Tinubu  who is also the chairman of committee on environment noted that 5th June is World Environment Day, set aside to create awareness for environmental issues and protection of the environment adding that the theme for this year’s World Environment is “Connecting People to Nature,” in celebration of nature’s beauty and man’s dependence on nature for his wellbeing.

The lawmaker observed that the Sustainable Development Goals include ensuring clean water and sustainable hygiene, sustainable urban development, sustainable consumption through increased use of natural resources and reduction of toxic materials, combating climate change and its adverse effects, conservation of aquatic resources and preservation of terrestrial biodiversity.

She insisted 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.

She expressed concern that unmitigated environmental issues have widespread effects on the economy, health and social wellbeing of the people.

The lawmaker also expressed concern that women and children are the most vulnerable groups and tend to suffer more from the effects of environmental issues noting that school curriculum fail to teach children at a young age about the impact of their actions and their civic duty to the environment.

The leaders of tomorrow according to her ought to be equipped with the knowledge to deal with future challenges but Tinubu reiterated that the environment is being held in trust for the unborn generations and thus, must be kept in pristine condition.

She however expressed worry about the absence of clear framework and institutional actions to counter climate change and its effects and the Implementation of the Paris Agreement (COP21) and COP 22 in the light of the recently announced withdrawal of the United States of America.

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