Nigeria plans a massive cleanup in the oil-rich Niger Delta region, where some residents complain that years of poorly regulated petroleum production have taken a toll on vegetation, water quality, farmland and fishing communities.
Alhaji Ibrahim Usman Jibril, minister of state for environment, said President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to resolving the country’s environmental challenges while creating jobs and ensuring sustainable development.
As evidence of that commitment, Jibril noted Buhari created two cabinet positions for the sector. Amina Mohammed is the minister for the environment.
The environment ministry has started a sensitization program in Rivers and Bayelsa states, after meeting with governors and community members. Residents said oil spills have devastated vegetation, polluted water and destroyed their livelihoods.
“This pollution has been going for more than 40 years,” Jibril said, predicting the new program “will go on probably for the next 20 years. He said the government would strengthen the regulatory agency charged with controlling oil spills.
Communities in the southern part of Nigeria face environmental challenges including coastal degradation; climate change, which has led to a sea-level rise; and the destruction of mangroves through coastal erosion. Read more