By Emman Ovuakporie
ABUJA—DISTURBED by the appearance of black soot in major cities of Rivers State, the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts, PAC, yesterday, ordered the Auditor-General of the Federation, AuGF, Mr Anthony Ayine, to conduct an environmental audit in Rivers State with special focus on air pollution.
This came after the AuGF made a presentation of its report on environmental audit of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, the first of its kind in Nigeria, to the committee.
Members of the committee, after listening to the details of the report, mandated the AuGF to conduct a similar audit in Rivers State, particularly on the appearance of black soot in the air in Port Harcourt and major cities in the state likely caused by oil exploration.
Speaking at the interactive session, Chairman of the committee, Kingsley Chinda, PDP, Obio/ Akpor federal constituency of Rivers State, said: “This is a landmark occurence in our history as this is the first time such an audit on our environment will be conducted outside the normal procedure of audits of accounts in our clime.
“There is an urgent need to conduct a similar audit in Rivers State on air pollution because of the appearance of soot in the air of major cities of Rivers State. This has been directed by the Speaker of the House via a House resolution.”
The House had on March 6, mandated the committees on Environment and Climate Change to check the appearance of black soot in Port Harcourt based on Kingsley Chinda’s motion.
The House had mandated both committees to meet with various agencies to probe the remote causes of the soot which most residents complain causes rashes and other skin diseases.
Ayine, earlier in his report on the FCT, had pointed to poor toilet system discharged into the river in areas like Jabi, Nyanya in the FCT, as a major source of concern.
The report also indicated poor institutional efforts by those involved in waste management as one of the factors working against good sanitation in the territory.