By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria (ERA/FoEN, has urged the federal government to “declare the Niger Delta region of the country as an ecological disaster zone” towards addressing concerns arising from pollution.
The Executive Director, Environmental Rights Action and Friends of the Earth (ERA/FoEN), Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo said this at one-day media briefing on “Environmental Governance: Double Standard in Oil Sector Management in Nigeria” yesterday in Benin City, Edo State.
He urged the re-elected administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to declare environmental emergency and put in place a contingency plan of action (CPA) to bring the oil companies in the region to account by ensuring the clean up of decades if pollution of the environment within the next two years.
Ojo, argued that despite the on-going petroleum sector reforms, the oil sector lacks transparency and remain mainly characterized by massive environmental degradation as well as human rights violation.
In particular, he listed Shell Petroleum Development company (SPDC), Chevron, Total, ENI/and Agip Petroleum companies and several other multinational companies as well as local to take responsibility for their environmental degradation in the region.
He also blamed the federal government for not been able to stop gas flaring and recommended that the sum of $100 billion be appropriated as take off grant to compliment the Ogoni clean up exercise.
Mrs. Ada Fine-man from Jionkrama community (JK4) Edagberi in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State whose residence is being threatened by the continuous laying of pipeline by SPDC, said the action of the multinational company has made life unbearable for her.
She alleged discriminatory practices by the oil company which have divided members of the Community, rather than addressing their concerns.
Our correspondent reports that the forum provided participants from the Media, Civil society opinion molders and researchers the opportunity to compare notes during the intellectual discuss.