Senate Committee on Environment has expressed disappointment over the federal government’s alleged disregard for environmental safety issues.
Chairman of the committee, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who spoke during the budget defence by the Federal Ministry of Environment, noted that the government’s failure to accord priority to environment issues is underscored by the relatively poor budgetary allocation to the ministry.
The sum of N8.9billion was the total allocation for the Ministry of Environment as captured in the 2021 budget.
Minister of Environment, Alhaji Muhammad Abubakar, had told the Senate committee that his ministry is presently tackling environmental issues including oil spills, among others.
When asked about the much talked Ogoni cleanup that has lingered for some years, the minister said that the project is ongoing, adding that it is one of the main project of President Muhamadu Buhari administration.
“Three weeks ago, we were able to completed six remediated sites that are being certified by National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, in right now. I think about three or four more are in the pipeline to be completed and certified and the remaining fifteen sites of the first 21 are being worked on seriously and we completion very soon.
“There are 36 additional sites that have been awarded. They are at various stages of work.
“There are livelihood programme that are going on which have been part of the clean up project by UN Environment Programme, UNEP, that is ongoing currently.
“About 1200 women and youths are being trained in various skills like agriculture, aquaculture, poultry, welding and so on. A great number of youths have been employed by the projects,” Abubakar stressed.
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