Ogoni clean-up: Reps query ministry capacity, want quick action

The House of Representatives Committee on Environment on Wednesday queried the capacity of the Federal Ministry of Environment to carryout the Ogoni-land clean up.

This is coming just as the committee frowned at the inability of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to explain its contribution to the Ogoni cleanup plan as stated in the United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) report.

The chairman, House committee on Environment and Habitat, Honourable Obinna Chidoka who addressed stakeholders on the urgent need to implement the UNEP report on Ogoni land said that members are worried at the level of implementation.

According to him, “We are worried that the implementation of this report is yet to take off and the Ogoni people and indeed the entire Niger Delta have continue to drink contaminated water, eat sea food scrounged from the polluted water and the community people still process their foods in crude coated creeks.”

Speaking further, he said that, “This situation is already generating ill feelings, despondency and anger amongst the Niger Delta people and unless the UNEP report is fully implemented, they would continue to suffer pain and feel alienated in their land, a situation that could further lead to breakdown of law and order in the region.”

But the Minister of State for Environment, Mr. Ibrahim Jibrin, who represented the minister, Mrs Amina Mohammed, said that the ministry has made significant progress from the time the cleanup was launched.

According to the minister’s representative, the ministry has already convened several meetings with key stakeholders on implementation of the Ogoni cleanup report.

The committee, however, resolved to have another session with the minister and NNPC officials on the matter.