Toxic waste: Don’t panic, govt urges Deltans

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By Festus Ahon

ASABA—DELTA State Commissioner for Environment, Mr John Nani, has told Deltans, particularly the people of Koko, Warri North Local Government Area of the state, not to panic over the reported case of alleged importation of industrial toxic waste to the area, saying that the substance had been collected for laboratory analysis.

It will be recalled that there was reported case of dumping of toxic waste in Koko, sometime last week.

Nani, who spoke when he visited the area in company of the Comptroller of Customs, Edo/Delta zone, Mr. Ona Eboma, said that the outcome of the laboratory analysis would be made public.

He said: “Our visit is coming on the heels of alleged importation of industrial toxic waste to the ancient town to be managed by the company. This has caused apprehension in the minds of all stakeholders and thus, there was urgent need to effectively manage the situation for the benefit of Deltans.

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“I am pleased that the Nigeria Customs, personally led by the Comptroller of Edo/Delta zone, Mr Eboma, is here with us for the on-the-spot assessment of the waste dumpsite and the facility,” he said, urging  the people of Koko and its environs to remain calm.

He said that genuine efforts would be made to pay adequate attention to their health concerns and other issues agitating their minds.

Also speaking, Mr. Eboma noted that the substance was not imported.

Earlier on arrival, the Delta State Government team was conducted round the facility by the company’s head of operation, Dr. Akintunde Francis. Akintunde explained that contrary to media reports, “the waste is the by-product of oil companies’ operations.”

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As part of efforts to ensure strict environmental compliance monitoring and the need to avoid a repeat of the ugly experiences of the 1988 Koko toxic waste debacle, Delta State Commissioner for Environment, Mr. John Nani, led officials of the state government, including the Chairman of Warri North Local Government Area and the Nigerian Customs Service to the alleged toxic waste dumpsite managed by Ebenco Global Links Limited, an integrated waste management facility in Koko town.

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