The Africa Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD), has commended the Federal Government over the “accelerated clean-up” going on in Ogoni land.
The Acting Executive Director, Monday Osasah, made the commendation in Abuja, at a press briefing on achieving a healthy and sustainable environment in the Niger Delta.
Monday, who was represented by Mr Lawal Amadu, Senior Programme Officer, Centre LSD, maintained that things were “gradually getting better in Ogoni and environs.”
“We thank the Federal Government of Nigeria for the efforts it has made so far in addressing the environmental challenges in the Niger Delta, especially the ongoing clean-up.
“There is no doubting the fact that handing over of sites to contractors is bearing fruit with eventual commencement of remediation work.
“This is a testament of the government’s resolve to cleaning-up Ogoni land as promised by President Muhammadu Buhari during his Independence Day speech,” he said.
Monday urged the federal government to fully support different government bodies linked with the clean-up, to fast-track the process of making Niger Delta region, particularly Ogoni land, a better place.
The official called on other stakeholders involved in the clean-up to support government effort by discharging their respective responsibilities creditably.
“Stakeholders should leverage on the commitment made by the President by committing themselves in a more serious way to play their roles in the clean-up process.
“Communities in Ogoni land should collaborate with Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP), to maintain peace.
“Access to polluted sites is only possible if HYPREP and its contractors carry out their duties as expected,” he said.
According to him, the clean-up of Ogoni land and Niger Delta remains an issue of social justice.
He appealed to the National Assembly to work with the relevant Ministries, Department sand Agencies (MDAs), that had responsibility regarding the emergency measures toward improving the budget line.
“This way, actions and activities from different MDAs can be targeted to realising the emergency measures and indeed the clean -up,” he said.
He suggested the setting up of a Civil Society Desk in HYPREP to pave way for information sharing that would keep the civil populace abreast of happenings on issues around the clean-up exercise.