Rights group urges government to declare Niger Delta ecological disaster zone
A rights group, the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), has implored the Federal Government to declare the Niger Delta ecological disaster zone following the persistent environmental degradation in the region.
Executive Director of ERA/FoEN, Dr. Godwin Uyi-Ojo, who stated this during a media briefing in Benin City yesterday, lamented the persistent environmental degradation in the Niger Delta by the multinational oil companies and their failure to conduct cleanup and remediation for livelihoods and environmental protection.
He said it is imperative for the government to declare the region ecological disaster zone, declare environmental emergency and put in place a contingency plan of action to bring oil firms to account by ensuring the cleanup of decades of pollution of the environment within the next two years.
According to him, this policy brief looks at oil companies’ double standards in the management of environmental problems arising from oil operations in the Niger Delta. Uyi-Ojo added that despite ongoing petroleum sector reforms, the oil sector lacks transparency and remains mainly characterised by massive environmental degradation and human rights violation.
“Several other multinational and local oil companies have been implicated. Together, they have contributed immensely to the destruction of the environment in the region and caused severe impact on livelihoods and violent conflicts that have further impoverished community people,” he said.