President Jonathan Gives Ogoni-Spills Committee 2 Weeks To Carry Out Assignment

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala , Minister of Finance being congratulated by President Goodluck Jonathan after taking her oath of office in Abuja last Wednesday Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala , Minister of Finance being congratulated by President Goodluck Jonathan after taking her oath of office in Abuja last Wednesday

August 19, 2011 – President Jonathan Gives Ogoni-Spills Committee 2 Weeks To Carry Out Assignment

The Special Committee constituted by President Goodluck Jonathan, last Wednesday, to undertake a wholistic review of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report on oil pollution in Ogoniland, has been given two weeks to conclude its assignment.

This was contained in a statement issued  in Abuja and signed by Dr Reuben Abati, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity.

According to the statement,  the committee was expected to make recommendations to the Federal Government on immediate and long term remedial actions to be taken on the report.

It said the committee, which will be chaired by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, has as members, the Ministers of Environment, Mrs Hadiza Mailafia as vice chairman, and Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Others are Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke, and the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Mr Chibuzo Ugwoha.

The statement also listed the Director-General of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Mr Peter Idaboh, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr Austen Oniwon and the Special Adviser to the President (Technical Matters), Mr Sullivan Akachukwu Nwakpo, as members.

The statement noted that after receiving the UNEP Report on  the President had directed the Ministers of Petroleum and Environment to undertake an immediate appraisal of the report.

It said the decision to constitute an expanded Special Review Committee followed the submission of the preliminary appraisal of the report by the two ministers.

It would be recalled that the UNEP report submitted to the President on May 4 stated that pollution from over 50 years of oil operations in Ogoniland had penetrated further and deeper than many might have thought.

The report said the environmental restoration of Ogoniland could prove to be the world’s most wide-ranging and long term oil clean-up ever undertaken if contaminated drinking water, land, creeks and important ecosystems such as mangroves were to be brought back to full, productive health.

UNEP report said that the clean-up, which might take as long as 30 years, would require about billion dollars initial fund injection, and recommended the establishment of three new institutions to support a comprehensive environmental restoration.

They are the Ogoniland Environmental Restoration Authority, Environmental Restoration Fund for Ogoniland and Integrated Contaminated Soil Management Centre. Tide News