In a move to resolve the soot challenge facing Rivers State, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has inaugurated the Technical Committee for the implementation of the Recommendations of the Rivers State Government Report on Soot.
Inaugurating the committee on Monday, Governor Wike directed the State Head of Service to also invite the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Police to participate in the implementation committee.
Governor Wike said that his Administration is committed to addressing the environmental and health issues raised by the presence of soot.
He said: "I have told the chairman of the Technical Committee to ensure that everybody gets the report for the committee to quickly act for us to see positive changes.
"As a Government, we owe our people the duty to tackle soot in Rivers State ".
The Governor said that contrary to the claims by some members of the society, his administration has been working on modalities to tackle soot.
He said that the investigative committee worked for five months to discover the causes of the prevalence of soot.
"So many people have complained that the State Government is not doing something to reduce the soot. This is not true.
"We have studied the situation. It took not less than five months to identify the causes. This implementation committee is made up of environmental experts/scientists, environmental lawyers, doctors, civil society , oil majors and security services. This is a fundamental move to address the soot crisis", he said.
He said that the soot crisis is worse than insecurity, because of the long term health challenges that they pose to the people
"As a Government, we are concerned and we will do everything to ensure that it is resolved.
"This soot does not know the Governor. It does not know a poor man or rich man. It affects everyone. Right here in Government House, I see it everywhere", he said.
Chairman of the Technical Committee, Prof Roseline Konya assured the Rivers State Governor that the committee will work hard to resolve the soot crisis.
She said that most of the committee members are conversant with the process of identifying the causes of soot, hence they will bring their wealth of experience to address the challenge.
The Former Environment Commissioner said that the committee will take the assignment seriously.