ANEEJ urges Tinubu, N’Assembly to end Plastic Pollution in Nigeria
- Wants Shell, Chevron to disclose Material Environmental payments to govt
BENIN CITY, NIGERIA. June 5, 2023… The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), a Benin City based non-governmental Organisation has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the 10th National Assembly to take pragmatic steps enact policies to end Plastic Pollution in Nigeria even as it calls on Shell, Chevron and other Multinational Oil Companies operating in Nigeria to disclose material environmental payments to governments in line with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) requirements.
ANEEJ Executive Director, the Rev David Ugolor who made the call in a statement issued in Benin City today to mark this year’s World Environment Day noted that the rate of Plastic Pollution in Nigeria both in our towns and cities as well as ocean bodies is alarming and will lead to a major catastrophe if urgent steps are not taken to end the production and use of plastic and cellophane in Nigeria, urging government to borrow a leaf from Rwanda where the use of plastics and cellophane has since been banned.
Ugolor recommended the use of degradable paper bags for use in Nigeria and noted that policies and government action is required to achieve success in this regard.
“In Rwanda, here in Africa, you do not see plastics or cellophane anywhere. All supermarkets and soft drinks producing companies are, by law, prohibited from using these environmentally hazardous materials for packaging. We can replicate the Rwanda example in Nigeria. This is why we are calling on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the National Assembly to take urgent steps to bring out solutions to end the use of plastic and cellophanes in Nigeria,” Ugolor stated.
The ANEEJ Chief said this year’s theme of the World Environment Day, “Solutions to Plastic Pollution” was very apt for Nigeria where there is widespread pollution across our cities and communities, blocking drains and drainages as well as being pumped in our water bodies and contributing to international water bodies pollution.
In the same vein, Ugolor took a swipe at Shell, Chevron and other multinational oil companies operating in Nigeria flagrantly violating the EITI principles and standards for the disclosure of material environmental payments to government in line with requirement 6.4 of the EITI Standard which requires implementing countries to disclose material environmental payments to governments, noting that the standard encourages the disclosure of information related to environmental impact and monitoring.
“Oil producing Communities in Nigeria do not always know how much companies are obliged to contribute according to their contracts. There is usually misunderstanding about what constitutes a mandatory and voluntary social and environmental expenditure and lack of access to the contractual terms makes unsuspecting oil communities and public oversight challenging,” Ugolor noted adding that it is important to be transparent about the expectations and the actual contributions made to provide a more complete picture for all stakeholders involved.