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 FG commits to mitigating climate change impact in Niger Delta

FG commits to mitigating climate change impact in Niger Delta

The Federal Government has assured residents in the oil-polluted Niger Delta that its mangrove restoration programme will tackle climate change in the region.

Minister of State Environment, Dr Iziaq Salako, who made the pledge during the tour of remediation sites and the Centre of Excellence in Weeyakara, Khana Council of the state in Rivers State, built by the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) under the Environment Ministry.

The minister also seized the opportunity to plant 10 trees at Birabi Grammar School in Bori, as a way of showing commitment to championing the course of green environment.

He noted that Nigeria and Africa can mitigate the issues of climate change caused by technology and development by reverting to nature, stressing that following the years of oil exploration activities that have polluted the environment, it was expedient for the FG to sustain the shoreline protection and mangrove restoration projects.

Salako while lauding the pace of work at the Centre of Excellence and the remediation sites at Eleme council emphasised that President Bola Tinubu takes environmental issues so seriously.

He said: “So we are taking the environmental issues very seriously and I can assure you that President Bola Tinubu has prioritised the issue of the environment. If you look at his Renewed Hope Agenda, his eight priority areas, you will know that he does not joke about environmental issues.

“When it comes to the issue of climate change, one important resource that Nigeria and Africa had to offer is nature-based solutions. And when we talk about nature-based solutions, our mangrove forests are very important elements of that. Nigeria has the largest mangrove forest in Africa and about the third in the entire world. This means that our mangrove is very important to the fight against climate change.”

In a related development, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Richard Montgomery, has stated that the Ogoni Cleanup model can be replicated in other parts of the world.

Speaking with journalists in Port Harcourt, after emerging from a meeting with HYPREP Project Coordinator, Prof Nenibarini Zabbey and his management staff, Montgomery disclosed that his visit to the state was to understand recent developments in the security and community.

He said that the team was there to also ascertain the level of commitments made by both the Ogoni people and other institutions including the Federal Government and oil companies.”I am here to visit Rivers State because of the importance of this area to the whole of the economy. And to understand recent developments in security and how the clean-up programme is being implemented.

“What is being done here is a model that we can all learn from and it will have significance beyond Ogoniland to the rest of Niger Delta but also potentially to other areas of the World.

“I am here to listen and learn and understand the way in which this programme is being implemented and the commitments made by both the Ogoni people to other institutions including the Federal Government and the oil companies. My understanding is that there is a system of monitoring in place and relationship with communities. We will be following up and looking to understand how the project is progressing in the coming months.”

However, Zabbey expressed gratitude to the High Commissioner and reassured the diplomatic community that he will deliver sustainable clean up, remediation and restoration in Ogoniland. (The Guardian)

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