The management of Sun Newspapers has applauded the outstanding contributions of entrepreneur Azibaola Robert to the growth and development of Nigeria, and nominated him for The Sun Public Service Award 2023.
The management led by its Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Mr Onuoha Ukeh, said this during a visit to present Robert with his letter of nomination for the award on Wednesday in Abuja.
“Your selection for this award was based on merit because of your outstanding contributions to the growth and development of Nigeria.
“With your undying spirit of public service, you embarked on a 14-day expedition into the Niger Delta deep forests to produce a documentary on the impact of Climate Change and adverse environmental practices by inhabitants on the region,” Ukeh said.
He added that the newspaper honoured Robert “as a human and environmental rights advocate”, who is leading “campaigns to preserve our rainforests and wildlife in Nigeria, particularly in the Niger Delta region”.
He commended Robert’s collaboration with ecological enthusiasts, governments, and private sector to produce a two-hour documentary film that highlights the story of people and life in the creeks.
Ukeh explained that the award was not only for those in the Public Service but also for people that performed exceptionally well in impacting the society through the public or private sector.
Accepting the award, Robert thanked the Newspapers for recognising and appreciating the contributions he has made, which has been “useful to the society and making positive impacts.”
“I’m so grateful that what I initiated is useful to the society and making impact that has made you to notice. No society has grown only on the basis of Government initiatives.
‘’So there has to be more synergy and multi-level cooperation between the governments, the private sector, individuals and locals efforts in preserving and conserving our environment for posterity.”
On the recent COP28, in Dubai, Robert urges more local initiatives and collaborations in communities of the rainforests in reversing the climate change.
“The impact of global climate change is visible amongst us. I think that it is not international conferences that will bring about reversals of climate change – but local actors taking initiatives in various areas of endeavour in local communities; because environmental change itself is global, but it’s local.”
He added: “I want to be able to draw attention to the region of the Niger Delta rainforests where I come from just as the Amazon rainforests is attracting global attention, because it is one of the last rainforests that we have in Nigeria.
‘’Rainforests are the sources of oxygen which you and I depend on for existence. We are told that the Amazon contributes about 6% of the global oxygen we breathe. We should be able to calculate the percentage the Niger Delta rainforests contribute, as well.”
Robert is the founder of ‘Expedition into Deep Forests’ and the Niger Delta Human and Environmental Rescue Organisation (ND-HERO).
In 2021, Robert and his team embarked on a 14-day expedition into deep forests of the Niger Delta to ascertain the impact of climate change and adverse environmental practices being experienced by inhabitants of the oil-rich region.
The expedition produced a two-hour documentary-film titled: ‘Azibaola Robert’s Expedition into Deep Forests’.
The documentary highlights the story of the Niger Delta people and life in the creeks.
That exercise has spurred him to make the expedition an annual event, as well as motivating communities to be planting trees.(NAN)
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