President Muhammadu Buhari has on August 4, Thursday, inaugurated the governing council for the cleanup exercise in Niger Delta region.
The president has reiterated the commitment of his government to the clean-up of Ogoni land in Rivers state.
Buhari said: “When I came into office on May 29, 2015, one of the first tasks I carried out was to authorise the implementation of the recommendations of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) for the clean-up of Ogoniland.
“The devastation caused by oil spillage has destroyed many lives and livelihoods and is clearly one of the reasons why many people in that region lost faith in government and resorted to the many criminal activities we are seeing in the region today.
“The action our government took to implement UNEP’s recommendations has given the indigenes of the region hope that there are better days ahead.
“Let me, therefore, express appreciation on behalf of the government of Nigeria to UNEP and other development partners for their cooperation and support on this very delicate matter and also request for their continued support as we implement the recommendations and transform the fortunes of the region,” Buhari stated.
The Nigerian authorities recently commenced the clean-up of Ogoniland with a promise to speed up action on it.
United Nations Environment Programme claimed that it will take between 25 to 30 years to restore the oil-polluted environment to a clean state.
The incumbent leader had made similar promise in January 2016 during a visit to the United Nations office in the Kenyan capital, where he advised the United Nations to give more support for his administration’s efforts to clean up the region.
The cleanup of the region is one of the demands of Niger Delta militants groups who are constantly attack gas and oil facilities in the area.