President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to clean up Ogoniland.
While speaking in Nairobi, Kenya on Thursday during a visit to the United Nations Office, he reaffirmed that his administration will be committed to implementing the United Nations Environmental Programme’s recommendations for the clean-up of Ogoniland and other parts of Niger Delta which has been damaged by oil spillage.
The President said that cleaning up Ogoniland was one of the first tasks he authorized when he assumed office in May, 2015.
When I came into office on 29th May 2015, one of the first tasks I carried out was to authorize the implementation of the recommendations of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) for the clean-up of Ogoniland.
He said the people in the region have lost faith in the government and resorted to criminal activities due to the devastation that the oil spillage has caused.
The devastation caused by oil spillage has destroyed many lives and livelihoods and is clearly one of the reasons why many people in that region lost faith in government and resorted to the many criminal activities we are seeing in the region today. The action our government took to implement UNEP’s recommendations has given the indigenes of the region hope that there are better days ahead.
He further appreciated the UNEP and applauded the outcome of the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that held in Paris in December last year, stating that the decisions agreed on in the meeting will benefit the nation.
Let me, therefore, express appreciation on behalf of the Government of Nigeria to UNEP and other development partners for their cooperation and support on this very delicate matter and also request for their continued support as we implement the recommendations and transform the fortunes of the region.
The commitments agreed in Paris will clearly benefit Nigeria and many African nations adversely impacted by climate change. We therefore look forward to their fulfillment and implementation. As the UN Office in Nairobi gears up to host the 2nd session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) this year under the auspices of UNEP, I would like to take this opportunity to further pledge Nigeria’s commitment to this very worthy cause of having a safe, secure and clean planet.
Shell discovered oil in Ogoniland in 1957 and exploited it until it was forced out in 1993 due to oil spillage and pollution in 1993.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) In August 2011 released its Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland and made some recommendations to the government, the oil and gas industry and communities to begin a comprehensive cleanup of Ogoniland, restore polluted environments and put an end to all forms of ongoing oil contamination in the region.
The report was commissioned by and delivered to the Federal Government of Nigeria.