The Centre for African Leadership Strategy and Development (CLSD) has called on the federal government to hasten the process of the ogoniland clean up to enhance national development.
The CLSD in collaboration with cordaid made this call at a three-day training for journalists on “UNEP Report (2011) of Assessment on Ogoni Land and Role of Media on Implementation of Clean-Up,” recently in keffi, Nasarawa state.
According to the media expert, Chukwuemeka Okareafor, said journalists should focus their interest more on the development of the ordinary Nigerian that will impact lives, especially on the Ogoni clean up as it relates to indigenous persons, adding that this development of such reportage would bring about a positive change for the less privilege.
He further said that the activities by multinational companies on the refining of crude oil in the past in the Niger Delta area became contaminated, which brought about a lead to restore the environment via the clean up.
According to a research by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), on the Environment Assessment Programme of Ogoniland in August, 2011, recommended that oil and gas industry and communities should begin comprehensive clean up of Ogoniland, and also bring to an end to all forms of oil adulteration in the region.
Okareafor stressed the need for the 2019 budget to include the capacity component of the social media to improve on whatever knowledge relating to every other thing in the development of every aspect of the society, making impact.
Mr Monday Osasah, the acting Executive Director, African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre-LSD) said that the Ogoni clean up was paramount to national development as it was the first of its kind reason being that there has never been a clean up anywhere nor record of one in progress.
Osasah said the delay in the cleanup of the Niger Delta had become worrisome adding there was the need to wake and conscientious stakeholders of their responsibility being critical therefore underscoring the place and importance of the media amongst other things create awareness and sensitize stakeholders and citizens of their roles and responsibilities.
He urged stakeholders to offer emergency measures toward providing drinking water and health facilities and rehabilitate the environment, and also assist the affected communities to take proactive measures against banditry, misleading the community, and artisanal refining.He advised Federal Government to create; Ogoni land restoration authority and environmental fund, institutional and regulatory reforms and coordinate multi-stakeholder efforts.
Earlier, the Senior Programme Officer of the Centre, Mr. Amodu Lawal, said the need to highlight the challenge of air pollution has become necessary given the multifaceted consequences it comes with.
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“Air is critical to human existence as without it there can be no life. Yet a polluted air has the capacity to unveil numerous health problem including respiratory diseases that have led to loss of several lives even in Nigeria,” he added.