Oct 30, 2014

Ogoni: Nigerian Government Sets Up Consultative Committee for Environmental Restoration

Adhering to UNEP’s recommendation and responding to the grievances of the Ogoni people, the Nigerian government formed a committee responsible for the environmental situation of Ogoniland. This Committee, which includes representatives of the government, of the Ogoni community and of oil companies, has to elaborate a clear plan with progressive steps to reach an environmental restoration of the region. Similar committees might be established in the future for other areas of the country.

Below is an article published by AllAfrica.com:

The Federal Government has established a Multi-stakeholder Consultative Committee aimed at fast tracking the environmental restoration of Ogoni land, as proposed in the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP Report.

The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, who inaugurated the Committee, last week in Abuja, said the move is part of government's efforts to seek an enduring solution to the issue.

The 14-member Committee is saddled with the responsibility of proposing a focused engagement and implementation plan with clearly defined steps.

The group is also mandated to advise the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project, HYPREP Advisory Council on the manner in which assets and funds of the project may be held and utilised.

Alison-Madueke explained further that the Committee is a direct response to the yearnings of the Ogoni people and other stakeholders for inclusion in achieving an enduring and robust environmental restoration of Ogoni land.

According to her, "It is based upon the further recommendations of the HYPREP Advisory Council that I have reached out to patriotic Nigerians from within and outside the Ogoni community to constitute this Multi-stakeholder Consultative Committee."

She also charged the Committee to brainstorm and develop suggestions for a clear and actionable roadmap for the restitution of the Ogoni people and restoration of the environment for healthy living conditions.

"I am expecting that in due course, learning from the Ogoni restoration work can, and will be applied in other parts of Nigeria, facing similar environmental degradation problems," she said.

The Committee has as its chairman, Dr. Jamila Shu'ara, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources. Other members include: His Majesty, King Godwin N.K. Gininwa, Chairman, Rivers State Council of Chiefs and Traditional Rulers.

Also included are Gbenemene of Tai Kingdom, Legborsi Saro Pyagbara; President, MOSOP, Prof. Ben Naane; Prof. Rosaline Konyan; Dr. Abraham Olungwe; Mr. Friday Kpelo; all representatives of the Ogoni community.

Others are: Ambassador Daouda Toure, UN Resident Coordinator; Shuaibu Otori, Representative of the Office of the Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources; Mr. John Lahu, Representative of the Ministry of Environment; Jube Jemide, Representative of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

Also on the committee are Mr Jonathan Okehs, representing the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation; Mr. Austin Igboko, Representative of Shell Petroleum Development Company; Mr. George Oguachuba, Representative of Total; and Mr. Angelo Madera, Representative of Nigeria Agip Oil Company.