The Federal Government has assured residents of the Niger Delta that it remains commitment to tackling the impact of climate change through its mangrove restoration programme in the region.
Dr Iziaq Salako, Minister of State Environment gave the pledge when he led a team on a 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.
During the tour, the minister also planted 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.
While lauding the pace of work at the Centre of Excellence and the remediation sites at Eleme council, Salako 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.
Speaking further, he said “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.”
Meanwhile, Richard Montgomery, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria has stated that the Ogoni Cleanup model can be replicated in other parts of the world.
Addressing journalists in Port Harcourt, after he emerged 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,”he said. “And to understand recent developments in security and how the clean-up programme is being implemented,”.
Story was adapted from the Guardian.