Ministry of Environment says the fuel subsidy protests delayed it.

The federal government has reiterated its commitment to implementing the report of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on the cleaning up of the environment of Ogoniland damaged by years of oil exploration.

The Minister of Environment, Hadiza Mailafia, stated this yesterday at the State House, after she presented her ministry’s budget performance to President Goodluck Jonathan.

This is coming on the heels of the declaration of state hood by the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) for the region.

“We are making enormous efforts; I agree that the presentation was made last year, but you recall that just after the presentation of the UNEP report the country fell into some kind of unrest due to fuel subsidy issue,” said Mailafia.

“For quite a number of a number of weeks all of us were not doing what we should have been doing at that time. But it is not true that government is not doing anything. The UNEP report highlighted some immediate issues that needed to be addressed; finding portable or alternative supplies of drinking water, such as marking out the wells that were too polluted and doing other strategic framework activities that needed to be in place before the implementation.

The minister also advised Nigerians to safeguard their lives and environment by adhering to environmental laws and guidelines issued by the government.

Reacting to questions on what was being done to check incessant flooding in the Southwest and other parts of the country, Mailafia stressed that such incidents occur in other parts of the world but the case of Nigeria is worsened by ignorance and outright refusal to comply with laid down regulations.

She said the government would intensify the publicity of flood warnings and alerts; especially this rainy season.

According to her, the ministry’s policy thrust formed the main focus of the presentation to Jonathan.

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