Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa on Thursday partnered with Rotary International and other groups both locally and internationally to tackle environmental challenges confronting the people of Niger Delta region.
Mr Akpe Ono, the Head of Media, Bayelsa State Government made this known in a statement on Thursday in Yenagoa.
Dickson, who decried the environmental pollution resulting from the exploitation and exploration activities of the multinational oil companies said the effect of the pollution had reduced life expectancy of people in the region.
He, however, expressed appreciation to Rotary International for nominating Bayelsa government for prestigious ‘Green Wheel Award’ over environmental activities.
The governor, who spoke through his Commissioner for Environment, Mr Ebipatei Apaingolo described the award as a welcome development.
He restated the commitment of his administration to address environmental degradation in the region, especially in Bayelsa.
“The nomination of the state for the globally recognised award is coming at a period when the present administration is taking a critical look at the operations of multinationals as it affects the people of the state; the recognitions is a welcome development,” he said.
News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Bayelsa government had recently inaugurated an eight -member Oil and Environmental Degradation Commission headed by a renowned Environmentalist, Archbishop of York, Mr John Sentamu.
The commission had as its terms of reference – investigation of environmental, health, socioeconomic, political and human damage caused by operations of multinational oil companies.
The District Chair of Rotary International District 9141, Dr Okunzuwa Osawaru noted that the Green Wheel Award was instituted by his district to recognise “any entity deemed to have fostered the environment in the Niger-Delta states.’’
“Our district is particularly impressed by the “Rise for Bayelsa” event which was held recently in March with the theme: The Environment: Our present, our future.
“It was based on these developments that the organisation decided to honour the government with the prestigious award,” Osawaru said.