The Federal Government has disclosed plans to link Ogoniland to the national grid as part of the measures towards the sustainability of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) livelihood Programmes and its water projects.
The Honourable Minister of Environment Barr Mohammed H Abdullahi made this disclosure yesterday in Bori during a familiarization visit to stakeholders in Ogoniland.
Barr. Abdullahi noted that the move will boost the economy of the communities in Ogoniland, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to the speedy clean-up of Ogoniland in line with the recommendations of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). He stated that the HYPREP scope is being expanded to have a more direct positive bearing on the people of Ogoniland.
The Minister further announced that the clean-up of shorelines will soon commence. He noted that the Federal Ministry of Environment is engaging with relevant agencies to address issues of repollution that could be caused by corrosion especially in areas around the pipeline.
The Minister visited the Integrated Contaminated Soil Management Centre and Centre of Excellence, he then disclosed that the President is committed to the completion of the Centre before the end of his tenure. He said that when the project is completed, it will be a one stop shop for hands on training for basic remediation techniques for youths of Ogoniland and the Niger Delta as a whole.
He further assured that the Federal Government is addressing some issues affecting the pace of the Project, adding that measures are being put in place towards ensuring transparency and accountability in the Ogoni Trust Fund.
In a town meeting , Interventions were made by representatives of various stakeholder groups who demanded for greater participation in terms of contract awards amongst other things and inclusion . Responding, the Hon Minister promised to address the issues raised especially those bordering on local content, women empowerment/livelihood, youths engagement ,employment etc .
The Project Coordinator of HYPREP Dr Ferdinand Giadom appreciated the Hon. Minister for his visited , stated that the appointment of the brand new Minister of Environment Mohammed H. Abdullahi whom he said has garnered enormous experience in the private and public sectors will help in giving the clean-up project the needed drive it deserves to deliver on its mandate. He commended the Federal Government for demonstrating serious commitment to the clean up of Ogoniland.
Earlier, the Hon. Minister visited the palace of His Majesty King G.N.K Giniwa (OFR) of Tai Kingdom and Chairman Supreme Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers in his palace in Korokoro. The monarch assured that the Ogoni people will continue to support the clean-up project to succeed. The Minister also paid a courtesy call to the palaces of the Kingom Kings in Gokana, Khana and Eleme LGAs.
The Hon. Minister also met with Management and Staff of HYPREP Where he urged them to be committed to their duties and assured that their welfare will continue to be among top priorities of this administration.
Similarly he also visited cluster sites in B-Dere/Gio, the water facilities in B-Dere and the Centre of Excellence and Integrated Contaminated Soil Management Center.
The Honourable Minister’s visit is the first since his assumption of Office.