The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is seeking to reduce the impact of its oil exploration and exploitation on the environment as a way of preserving and conserving wildlife resources to demonstrate its support for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on best environmental management practices.

‘’Let’s Go Wild for Life’’ is the slogan the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu adopted when he committed the Organisation to the enforcement of strict environmental regulations during the 2016 World Environment Day (WED) activities at the NNPC towers in Abuja.

Represented by the Chief Operating Officer, Corporate Services, Mr. Isa Inuwa, Dr. Kachikwu noted that as part of the Corporations’ determination to conserve wild life, it had over the years, in conjunction with the Federal Government recognized the importance of preserving wild life resources and set up the Lekki Conservation Center with the support of Chevron Nigeria Ltd and Finima Nature Park in Bonny with the support of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd.

According to him, stopping illegal trade in wild life would ensure the preservation and maintenance of the population of useful species, which provide materials for research and education. Protecting the Fauna and Flora resources from over exploitation for medicine and other economic reasons will help expand the sector for Tourism and national development, which will in turn create jobs. ‘’The population of Nigeria’s’ wild life is still evolving and growing and hopefully will be adequately managed to provide the same benefits like those of other African countries.

The diversity of Nigerian wildlife has been ranked eleventh in Africa by the Nigerian Environmental Action Study Team (NEST) with South and East African countries leading the pack in the African continent,’’ Dr. Kachikwu posited.

Mr Inuwa, the COO, CS of the NNPC also said that though the practice of illegal wild life trade is not common in Nigeria, the business of oil exploration and exploitation affects the environment where these creatures occupy, stressing that there is the need for concerted efforts to safeguard the environment and wildlife from devastation.

Ogie Omelegie
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