Nigeria (Blank NEWS Online) –By Albert OGRAKA:
After the first known case of toxic waste dump in Koko about thirty years ago, which alarmed Nigerians and the international community, recent reports have claimed that another likely liquid substance, suspected to be toxic, may have been dumped in Koko, headquarters of Warri North local government area of Delta state.
In a swift move, the Delta State Government has vowed to thoroughly investigate the alleged dumping of substances suspected to be toxic waste in Koko in Warri North Local Government Area of the state.
The position of the State Government was made known by the State Commissioner of Environment, Barrister John Nani who led a high powered State delegation to the site of the toxic in Koko.
The Commissioner warned that severe sanctions would be meted out to all who are directly or remotely involved in the heinous crime.
Barrister Nani explained that preliminary investigation would start soonest with the analysis of samples already collected from the dump site, adding that full proof enquiry would be conducted to ascertain the veracity or otherwise of the claim.
He advised residents of Koko and its environs to remain calm as the State Government was determined to get to the root of the matter, adding that genuine efforts would be made to take adequate attention of their health concerns and other issues agitating their mind.
Earlier on arrival, the Commissioner and his team were conducted round by Dr. Akintunde Francis, Head of Operations of EBENCO Global Link, the company who was said to have allegedly dumped the waste in the area.
Dr. Akintunde explained that contrary to media reports, the waste is the by-product of oil companies, adding that the company was given approval to operate by the Department of Petroleum Resources, Federal Ministry of Environment and other relevant agencies.
He maintained that the company had been in existence for more than ten years, even as he stated that the waste in question was not harmful as being portrayed by the media.
Edo and Delta States Customs Sector Commander, Barrister Oni Eboma who also commented on the issue said the waste was not imported as alleged by the media.
The Customs Sector Commander allayed the fears of the public that the waste was harmful and charged the people to have confidence that proper and thorough investigation would be done on the matter.
Meanwhile, samples of the waste have been collected for analysis.
It will be recalled that the first known case of toxic waste was dumped in Koko about thirty years ago and Nigerian were alarmed by the recent alleged dumping of liquid in Koko.
Additional Reports by Delta State Ministry of Information
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Nigeria (Blank NEWS Online) –
E.I.C: Albert Eruorhe Ograka