FUPRE unveils solution to oil pollution in Nigeria
Omo-Agege, Waive, others hail initiative
Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE), Effurun, Delta State, at the weekend, unveiled the experimental research site it acquired at Obi-Ayagha community, Ughelli South council, for hydrocarbon pollution remediation research and training.
The move came as part of efforts toward finding lasting solutions to recurring oil pollution in the Niger Delta region.
The Obi-Ayagha swamp forest is one of the most polluted locations in the state and one of the epicentres of illegal oil refinery in the Niger Delta.
The university, in partnership with the Foundation for Conservation of Nigerian Rivers, a body long involved in environment remediation, created the Integrated Institute of Environment and Development (IIED) to lead research in oil pollution remediation.
IIED has Prof. Oladapo Afolabi, a former Head of Service of the Federation, as chairman and acclaimed environmentalist, Irikefe Dafe, as member, among others.
Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege, House of Representatives member representing Ughelli and Udu federal constituency Rev. Francis Waive, and the Okobaro of Ughieven Kingdom, Matthew Igbi, officially unveiled the site for the IIED pollution remediation centre.
Vice Chancellor of FUPRE, Prof. Akpofure Rim-Rukeh, while inaugurating the board, earlier, said IIED was created in furtherance of FUPRE’s belief that universities must play a leading role in finding solutions to societal challenges, hence the creation of IIED, to lead research on oil pollution which he said is one of the major problems in the Niger Delta region.
Rim-Rukeh charged the board to come up with research-based solutions to restore the ecosystem of the Niger Delta.
Omo-Agege commended FUPRE for the initiative and expressed joy at the unveiling of the Integrated Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Research and Training Centre, which he said would help to restore the polluted environment in the Niger Delta.
Omo-Agege who was represented by Otive Igbuzo, said: “The mission of this centre should be to foster an understanding of the environment through research and translate such research efforts through teaching and community service to the production of personnel who will address and change environmental practices in an ecologically sustainable and socially just manner.
He added: “More specifically, you should conduct community-based research on environmental challenges that will drive policy and development. The vision should be to support holistic approach to the protection of the environment and improvement of people’s quality of life by developing and strengthening initiatives which are responsive, locally relevant, and aimed at transforming people’s visions and aspirations into reality for present and future generations.”