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ERA flays politicisation of Ogoni clean up

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By Davies Iheamnachor

PORT HARCOURT: The Environmental Rights Action, ERA, Friend of the Earth Nigeria, has condemned the perceived politicisation of the clean up of Ogoni project.

Ogoni clean
Ogoni land, polluted with oil spills

This is just as ERA tasked the Federal Government to make provisions for renewable energy in the 2019 budget, adding that there was need for the nation to move away from fossil fuel extraction.

The Executive Director of ERA, Godwin Uyi Ojo, stated these in Port Harcourt at the 2018 Annual National Environmental Congress, tagged ‘Post Extractivism: Energy Democracy for National Development.’

Ojo said: “The government has continued to pay lip service to the clean up of the Niger Delta and the Ogoni clean up that have become electioneering campaign gimmicks and deception.

“Since they want to use it as a means of going through election, we will use it to check who governs us.”

Ojo also called for a ban on the usage of generator sets at the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, of the federal and the state governments, adding that there is need for energy transition from fossil fuel to renewables.

Ojo noted that policies on energy in the country are still deficient, lack focus and devoid of community perspective, noting that such opens the nation up for energy colonialism.

He said: “We cannot over look the fact that a new form of energy colonialism seems to have emerged. Energy colonialism is killing the Nigerian Economy.

“To promote this, a percentage of the national budget should be dedicated to renewable energy research and development. All public finance, loans and subsidies being channelled to fossil fuel explorations should be halted immediately and the funds invested in renewable energy.

“We advocate for energy democracy that is decentralized, people driven and socially controlled such that citizens become energy producers as well as end users from mini-grids, and non-grid systems that are less capital-intensive.

“To reiterate, energy colonialism should not lead to the dumping of petrol and diesel engines and cars from industrialised nations to Nigeria. We call for a ban on generator sets in all MDAs at the federal, state and local government levels.”

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