The federal government has expressed regret over the effect of oil spillage in the Niger Delta, saying it has badly impacted agriculture and fishing in the region.
President Muhammadu Buhari stated this while flagging off the implementation of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoniland in Bodo, Rivers State.
The president, represented by the vice president, Professor Yomi Osibanjo, said that the degradation of land, water and air have done a huge damage to the fragile ecosystem of the Niger Delta, particularly, Ogoniland.
According to him, “Oil exploration and production have been going on in Nigeria for six decades and have been a boost to the Nigerian economy. But the ecosystem of the Niger Delta has been severely damaged. Fishing and agriculture have been badly affected. There were acts, enactments, laws, guild lines and regulations to govern the operators of the oil industry. However, either because of the lack of political will or wilful non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations, the environment was put in jeopardy,” he stated.
Buhari, however, stated that the clean-up of the land will require change on the part of all those who will deal with the Niger Delta environment, particularly the oil companies and our communities.