Information Minister, Labaran Maku, has isolated environmental degradation as one of the greatest threats to the Niger Delta region.
Maku made the submission in Abuja during a visit to the Civil Defence Academy, at the continuation of 2012 National Good Governance Tour.
He listed other threats to the region to include pipeline vandalisation, illegal refineries and bust pipes. According to him, illegal refineries in the Niger Delta have an adverse effect on the environment.
His words: “Any community that thinks that it can vandalise pipeline is really causing havoc. Our forefathers left behind a good and safe environment for us. The pollution and contamination that is coming from the Niger Delta is great. If the communities do not stop vandalisation, it will cause great danger to the future of the people of Niger Delta. So it is in the interest of those communities and the nation to stop the destructions they are doing to the Niger Delta area.”
He assured Nigerians of the commitment of the Federal Government in tackling the challenges of environmental degradation in that region, even as he commended the Commandant, Civil Defence Academy, Ade Abolurin, for his performance. He tasked all public office to make judicious use of government funding like Abolurin did.
Earlier, the entourage inspected the Inner Southern Expressway in the Federal Capital Territory, which was awarded at a cost of N13 billion in November 2010. The project, which is 65 percent accomplished, comprises four interchanges, out of which three have been completed.
FCT (Federal Capital Territory) Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, said the 3.8km road is aimed at reducing traffic congestion within the city centre. He said that, when completed, the project would reduce pressure on roads in the city centre, especially for those travelling to the airport from Nasarawa State and the South West part of the city.
National Planning Minister, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, said that, under the Performance Contract signed with the FCT Minister, the impact of the project on how it has reduced traffic gridlock and the number of hours spent while passing through the city centre to the airport would be measured.
By Laide Akinboade