Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo recently launched a $1 billion clean-up and restoration program aimed at the Ogoniland region in the Niger Delta.
Osinbajo got the ball rolling on the program on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari. The financial and legislative framework for the program was drafted by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP).
Osinbajo announced the launch of the program at an event in Port Harcourt that had an attendance of more than 1,000 people, including Joseph Yobo, a soccer star, and Miss Nigeria Pamela Lessi. Osinbajo said the program was started in an effort to remain faithful to a key election promise made by President Buhari. Achim Steiner, UNEP’s executive director, joined the Nigerian Vice President at the event.
The implementation of the program will be based on a 2011 UNEP report recommendation, which was commissioned by the Nigerian government.
The report was drafted due to the impact of oil extraction in Ogoniland after severe and widespread contamination was found in the soil and ground water in the region. There was serious threat to public health because of the contaminated drinking water and delta ecosystems had been devastated.