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Buhari to kick off Ogoniland clean-up next month


The Minister for Environment, Mrs. Aminat Muhammad

The Minister for Environment, Mrs. Aminat Muhammad

Considering its health and environmental hazards to the oil-rich Niger Delta, President Muhammadu Buhari is to kick off the Ogoniland clean-up project next month.

The Minister of Environment, Mrs. Amina Mohammed, made the disclosure yesterday at the National Stakeholders’ Endorsement Workshop for the Reviewed and Updated National Implementation Plan (NIP) for the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in Abuja.

She said POPs-driven pollution burdens and accompanying toxicological and environmental hazards have become focus of national and international concerns, adding that “they can only be solved through coherent and coordinated efforts.

“This initiative laid the groundwork for developing and implementing, in a systematic and participatory manner, priority projects, regulatory reforms, resource allocation and other steps targeted at facilitating attainment of POPs-free environment in the country.”

Mohammed continued: “These are challenges that no single government can protect its citizens or environment against hazardous chemicals. Based on this, the global community negotiated the Stockholm Convention on POPs, which was adopted in May 2001 and Nigeria ratified it in May 2004.

“The convention is aimed at achieving elimination or restriction of the production and use of all POPs transition to safer alternatives, and in fulfillment of his campaign promises targeting additional action, such as cleaning-up old stockpiles and equipment containing them for free and clean environment.”

The minister noted: “The progression patterns in commercial activities, services and industrialisation in our national drive for economic advancement have actuated the growing demand for chemicals which are extensively applied in industrial processes, power sector, agriculture, etc.

“The workshop has provided an opportunity for stakeholders to evaluate, validate and adopt the POPs assessment data reports as well as set national priorities, develop action plan and management strategies to tackle identified issues.

“The Ministry of Environment will continue to provide the required leadership in ensuring that POPs and the attendant burdens of public health and environmental challenges are eliminated in Nigeria, “ Mohammed added.

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