30 July 2016
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a 13-member Governing Council and 10-member Board of Trustees for the clean-up of Ogoniland in Rivers.
The Minister of Environment, Mrs Amina Mohammed, announced in a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday that the structures would ensure inclusiveness, accountability, transparency and sustainability of the exercise.
Mohammed acknowledged concerns raised by stakeholders on the perceived slow pace of the clean-up, saying “Nigerians have a right to voice their concerns’’, but called for patience.
“We have responsibility to deliver. The launch was the first step in a 30-year journey. We will continue to make strides toward the implementation.
“We ask for patience as we lay solid foundations for the clean-up. The context is complex and stakeholders are diverse. All must be taken along,’’ Mohammed stated.
Accordig to her, Buhari remains steadfast in his conviction to see Ogoniland and other parts of the Niger Delta cleaned up.
She said the ministry was working with the Ministries of Petroleum Resources, the Niger Delta, and key stakeholders in implementing the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report.
The minister said the exercise was a collective responsibility and urged all Niger Delta communities, especially the Ogonis, to support the remediation government’s restoration efforts.
The UNEP report estimated that the clean-up of Ogoniland could take up to 30 years with the initial remediation taking five years and the restoration another 25 years.
President Buhari inaugurated the clean-up on June 2 at Bodo in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers.