The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Usani Uguru Usani has expressed concern over the negative impacts of environmental discontent in the Niger Delta region, saying it has informed the ministry’s decision to streamline Environmental Policy Action in the region.
Speaking at a One-day Stakeholders Validation Workshop and launching of a draft document on Niger Delta Region Climate Change Programme and Action Plan (NDRCCP-AP) organised by the Ministry in Calabar, Cross River State, he said: “The purpose of this programme is to streamline Environmental Policy Action in the Niger Delta which are traceable to the impact of environmental discontents such as the flooding that is ravaging the reverine communities, the prevalence of cancer-related ailments, the radio-active ailments, as well as the soot that is in the atmosphere, especially in Rivers state.”
He decried a situation where communities in the Niger Delta region were being submerged by flood while little or no action is being taken to address the trend.
He called on relevant stakeholders to urgently device means of addressing environmental disaster that demands emergency in Nigeria, especially in the Niger Delta region, stating that all human activities are impacted as a result of climate change in the Niger Delta region.
Dr. Usani reiterated the need to “Carry out sensitisation on climate change so that people will know the effect of what they go through and also that investors and economic moguls would discontinue harping on our ignorance while they make economic fortunes.”
The minister assured that his ministry is determined to perfect the draft climate change programme document in a bid to make it a worthy document that will guide all actions that are aimed at addressing environmental disasters in the Niger Delta region.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Aliyu Aminu Bisalla noted that Climate Change and global warming posed serious challenges to the Niger Delta region.
He added that the pace of change was increasing, saying “Unless the trend is reversed, human and physical ecologies are bound to be seriously impacted as it is being observed at the moment in many parts of the Niger Delta region.”
At the ceremony, the Amayanabo of Twon Brass and the Chairman, Council of Traditional Rulers in Bayelsa State, King Alfred Diette Spiff, charged the people in the coastal communities in the Niger Delta region to take necessary measures to guard against more negative effects of climate change and global warming in the near future.
Corroborating his colleague from Bayelsa, the Paramount Ruler of Bakassi and Chairman, Council of Traditional Rulers in Cross River State, Dr. Etim Okon Edet thanked the federal government for its development efforts in the Niger Delta region.
He advised that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs should inaugurate the completed Housing project in Bakassi to the beneficiaries to address their housing need and expedite action on the completion of the Skills acquisition Centre in Akpabuyo in Cross River State.