President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to launch on June 2 this year, the clean-up of Ogoni land, recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The disclosure was made Thursday by the Minister of Environment, Mrs. Amina Muhammed, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, while being received by the Rivers Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike.
The minister, who was represented by the Minister of State for Environment, Alhaji Ibrahim Usman Jubril, stated that the team was in Rivers to seek collaboration and cooperation with the state government and Ogoni stakeholders in the implementation of the UNEP report.
The Rivers government also assured of its preparedness to collaborate with the Federal Government in the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of UNEP on environmental assessment of Ogoni land.
Wike, who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Harry-Banigo, expressed happiness with the commitment of the Federal Government in the implementation of the UNEP report, noting that the devastation of the Niger Delta environment had impacted negatively on the people.
Rivers governor said: “As a state, we strongly reiterate our support towards the holistic implementation of the UNEP report on Ogoni land. We are excited to see the drive of the Minister for Environment in ensuring that the Ogoni clean-up exercise becomes a reality.”
Wike also expressed the readiness of the Ogoni people and indeed Rivers state to cooperate and collaborate to see the successful conclusion of the clean-up exercise, in accordance with internationally-acceptable standards, to enable the people to return to their farmlands.
The governor noted that his administration was determined to do all within its powers to provide people-oriented governance, disclosing that efforts were on to restore the garden city status of Port Harcourt.
The minister for environment also assured that the clean-up of Ogoni land would be driven by all stakeholders in the region and would ensure that the people benefit from it.
Muhammed lauded the Rivers government for the warm reception accorded the team, stressing that it was an indication that the Federal Government could partner with Rivers in many areas.