Government restates commitment to Ogoni clean-up, development of Niger Delta
Special Adviser to the Vice President on Niger Delta, Inyamu Edobor, disclosed this at a one-day High Level Advocacy Workshop on the Cleanup of the Niger Delta, organised by the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development, (Centre LSD) yesterday in Abuja.
He said: “As we speak, we have $1 billion in place by the different International Oil Companies (IOCs) and we have not spent $50 million out of that money yet. That is why we are in phases, and if you read the report on the Ogoni clean up, it would take 30 years to complete.”
He said this administration in 2016 started the ogoni cleanup and since then, a lot have being going on in line with the UNEP report.
He said there have been a lot of social engagements and programmes in the community, while some studies have been carried out to find out the extent of contamination.
Edobor said about 21 companies have been awarded contracts to carry out the cleanup, adding that there would be subsequent award of contracts to interested companies.
“This exercise has not been done anywhere. It is an ongoing process and I am sure it can only get better. With subsequent award, I am sure we are going to get more qualified people. One of the things we tried to do from the office of the vice president is to constantly put stakeholders under pressure.
“No one is going to take the region for granted. The new vision for the Niger Delta is designed to bring development to the region, rather than, as obtained in the past, where some leaders were called and given money.
Edobor explained that this vision is to impact the region and gains have been made from the new vision.
Today, we have the Maritime University, which is fully operational and we also have the four modular refineries, which are located in Imo, Akwa Ibom, Delta and Rivers, with about 60-90 per cent completion.
Director General of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, Mr. Peter Idabor, said the Niger Delta region has been negatively impacted and a comprehensive clean up of the region is compulsory.
Represented by an official in the agency, Oluyinka Okunubi, the DG said the region has one of the largest mangrove forests in Africa and is the most impacted in the world.
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