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Oil Pollution: ‘Inadequate Fines Responsible For Corporate Impunity’

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A university lecturer and
member Centre for Marine Pollution and Seafood Safety, University of Port Harcourt, Dr. Bolaji Babatunde, says inadequate fines for oil pollution in Nigeria is responsible for the high level of impunity by oil companies in the Niger Delta.
Babatunde, who spoke at a Media Roundtable on Human Rights and Environmental Justice organized by the Centre for Environment Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) in Port Harcourt described as ridiculous a situation where companies pay N2500 as fine for pollution of the environment.
He disclosed that the Western World a fine for pollution will sink a company and lead to its closure and regretted why it is different in Nigeria.
The University Don stressed the need for upward review the various fines prescribed by the laws against companies for acts of pollution as it will make the managements to sit-up and check further pollution of the Niger Delta from their facilities.
Dr Babatunde stressed the need for synergy between civil society organizations (CSO) and the academia with the view to broadening the frontier of knowledge on pollution as well as ensure that the people of the region are adequately compensated by oil companies in the event of pollution of their environment.
He said that the centre for Marine Pollution and Seafood Safety has undertaken series of researches on the effects of pollution in the Niger Delta and urged interested organisations to avail themselves of these efforts to further contribute towards an end to pollution in the region also speaking, Dr. Ibisime Etella also of the University of Port Harcourt said that the craze for compensations have made most communities in the Niger Delta to ignore early reportage of spills in their vicinities to appropriate authorities for action.
Dr Etela, who said that those communities which wait for spills to spread, before reporting need to be educated on the dangers of such behaviours.
He also stressed the need for the government to enforce all relevant laws to check the level of environmental abuse in the region.

Refuse Compressor working at Eliozu dumping site during the visit to dumping site by the House Committee on Environment led by the Chairman, Hon Victoria Nyeche.                                                        Photo: Chris Monyanaga

Refuse Compressor working at Eliozu dumping site during the visit to dumping site by the House Committee on Environment led by the Chairman, Hon Victoria Nyeche. Photo: Chris Monyanaga

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Environment

LG Council Moves To Rid Area Of Shanties

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As part of measures to ride off Eleme Local Government Area of slums and shanties, the council has embarked on the demolition of all illegal structures and shanties.
Executive chairman of the council Hon. Oboritomate Ollor told newsmen during the demolition exercise that the situation was to restore sanity to the area.
Ollor said the proliferation of Shanties in the areas was becoming assort of embarrassment to the council, adding that some of the illegal structures also serve as hide outs to criminals in the areas.
According to him, the council has no choice than to support the effort of this late government to restore sanity to Eleme and its environs.
He said the exercise was never intended to witchhunt or targeted at any ethnic group, but to keep the area safe for investment and businesses to thrive the council boss said the security of lives and prosperity’s sanitation, education and human empowerment will be given due attention by his Administration as urged residents to support the fight against insecurity as no society development in the face of security challenges.
While commending Governor Nyesom Wike for his fight against criminality in the state, Ollor warned criminals to leave Eleme or face the full wrath of the law.
The operation started at Akpajo Junction and ended at Trailer Park.

By: John Bibor

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NGO Mobilises Stakeholders To Plant Over 6m Trees In Kaduna

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The Aid Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation, says it is mobilising relevant stakeholders to plant over six million trees in Kaduna State.
Mr Emmanuel Bonet, Executive Director of the Foundation said this on the sideline of a one-day engagement with relevant stakeholders in Kaduna on Friday.
Bonet said that the initiative was under a project tagged, “Green Peace.”
He told newsmen that the project was designed to promote peace, mitigate climate change, promote sanitation and hygiene and discourage open defecation.
Bonet said that the initiative was under a Public Private Partnership with relevant government agencies and private organisations.
He identified some of the government agencies as Kaduna State Facilities Management Agency, Kaduna State Ministry of Environment, Interfaith Mediation Centre, Kaduna State Peace Commission and Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs.
According to him, a good number of youths from predominantly Muslim community would go and plant trees in a predominantly Christian community and vice versa.
He said that in the two months, about 100,000 trees would be planted in public facilities, like banks, hospitals, schools, hospitals, and other public places.
Bonet said that before 2022, one million trees would be planted in strategic locations within Kaduna metropolis alone to promote peace.
“After this, we have a target of planting five million trees within the forests of Kagoro in Kaura Local Government Area (LGA), Afaka in Kudan LGA and Chikun, in Chikun LGA.
“These forests are already depleting due to massive deforestation by loggers, and in dire need of afforestation by planting trees.
“We are also working with renewable energy organisations to provide alternative sources of clean energy for people using wood to cook and for other businesses,” he said.
The executive director said that the Aid Foundation was equally working with government agencies and private organisations to provide toilet facilities in public places.
He said: “We are also hoping that toilets are going to be built in all public facilities like banks, supermarkets, hospitals, particularly at the entrance gate so that people can access them easily.
“This will go a long way in preventing open defecation in the state, particularly around public infrastructure and offices.
“Therefore, the engagement was to get the private organisations and government agencies to commit to making provisions for toilet facilities that will be accessible by members of the public.
“This will significantly tackle the problem of open defecation.”

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DPO Donates Borehole To Rivers Community

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Ogoloma Community in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State has commended the Divisional Police Officer incharge of the area, CSP Okoro Ikechukwu for the construction of a water bore hole in the community.
This was contained in a letter jointly signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the community, Chief Kunumgbe and Levi Alalibo, respectively.
The community said the gesture will go a long way to check the rate of water borne diseases in the area.
According to the letter, “Ogoloma community has accommodated other officers before, but we see CSP Okoro as a distinct officer with the zeal to make peace.
“Your recent role in installing drinking water for the community is a case study”, the statement said.
CSP Okoro Ikechukwu who responded to the letter in an interview with newsmen said the borehole will go a long way in checking water scarcity usually experienced in the community.
According to him, during his routine visit to the community he discovered that the people were facing serious challenge of water scarcity, adding with the help of God he decided to come to their rescue.
He said rendering assistance to the needy aside from security was borne out of passion.
The DPO call on the people to cooperate with the police in areas of information sharing, surveillance and intelligence.

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