The House of Representatives on Thursday, declared support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to begin the process of implementing the United Nations’ Environmental Programme Report on the clean up of Ogoni Land in the Niger Delta region.
The House noted that the report, which detailed the “environmental degradation” of Ogoni Land, was released four years ago.
However, it added that by setting up a board to commence the process of implementing the report, Buhari had given the first signs of the seriousness of the Federal Government to address the problem.
An amendment to a motion on Ogoni Land by Mr. James Faleke, read, “Mr. President should be commended for setting up a board to implement the report.
“This report has been there for four years, and for Mr. President to have started the process for the implementation yesterday (Wednesday) is commendable. “
The amendment was unanimously endorsed by lawmakers.
But, it was a member from Rivers State, Mr. Kingsley Chinda, and 59 others, who moved the original motion on the plight of the people of Ogoni Land.
Chinda told the House that while the country’s oil resources were tapped from Ogoni Land, the communities in the area were left with no means of livelihood.
Chinda also stated that other parts of the Niger Delta where oil exploration activities took place, did not fare better.
He called on the federal government to declare the region an “environmental disaster zone” to speed up the process of providing infrastructure for the people living in those communities.
“The situation in Ogoni Land is so pathetic.
“Everywhere you turn, there is environmental degradation and the people are left to suffer. It is so bad,” Chinda added.
The President had on Wednesday taken several steps to fast track the implementation of the report, including the setting up of a trust fund to be managed by a board of trustees.
Stakeholders were also expected to contribute N2bn within the next 30 days to the fund.