Senate To Probe Buhari’s $1b Ogoni Land Cleanup

Senate To Probe Buhari’s $1b Ogoni Land Cleanup

The Senate is set to probe the President Muhammadu Buhari’s Ogoni land cleanup as the legislature directed its committee on environment to investigate the implementation of the cleanup.

The exercise was launched by President Muhamadu Buhari in 2016 at an estimated cost of $1 billion.

The decision of the Senate followed a motion moved by Sen. Oluremi Tinubu (APC, Lagos Cental), Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment to mark the World Environment Day on Tuesday.

The red chamber directed its committee to also assess the progress of the Great Green Wall programme initiated to control desertification in the country.

While moving the motion, Sen. Tinubu expressed dismay that despite the launch of the project, work has not commenced in the area.

Contributing, Sen. Magnus Abe (APC, Rivers South-east) said there is nothing on ground yet to show that the clean up was designed to actually cleanup the area.

He said that farmlands were still polluted while rivers of oil spills still abound.

Abe urged the federal government to review the country’s environmental regeneration programmes to take care of environmental issues in the country.

In a 2011 assessment of over 200 locations in Ogoniland by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), it was found that the impact of the 50 years of oil production in the region extended deeper than previously thought.

Due to oil spills, oil flaring, and waste discharge, the alluvial soil of the Niger Delta is no longer viable for agriculture.

Furthermore, in many areas that seemed to be unaffected, groundwater was found to have high levels of hydrocarbons or were contaminated with benzene, a carcinogen, at 900 levels above WHO guidelines. 

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