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FG vows to implement UNEP advice on Ogoni cleanup

By Obinna Nwaoku, Port Harcourt
03 May 2022   |   2:41 am
Federal Government has vowed to implement United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) recommendations on Ogoni cleanup and to carry out remediation projects

[FILES] A farmer tries to dig up crabs on marshy shore of a river polluted by oil spills at B-Dere, Ogoniland in Rivers State, southern Nigeria, on August 23, 2021. – Oil firm Shell has agreed to compensate the Ejamah community and three villages in Ogoni community in southern oil and gas-rich Niger delta, which recently won $11 million in compensation to the community over a 1970’s spill that polluted over 225 hectares of their farmlands and fishing waters. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

Federal Government has vowed to implement United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) recommendations on Ogoni cleanup and to carry out remediation projects before the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure.

It also announced plans to expand the objectives of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) to ensure sustainable livelihood for the Ogoni people.

Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, who was on a familiarisation visit to Ogoni at the weekend, said the FG would connect Ogoniland to the national grid, adding that the move will help to sustain ongoing programmes, especially the provision of water, and also, for economic growth in the area.

He said: “Apart from remediation that is being done by HYPREP, there is also the water project that we are working on. We realised that for the water project to be sustainable, there must be an enduring power supply.

“So, the Federal Government is expanding the objectives of the project mandate of HYPREP to ensure Ogoniland is linked to the national grid.

“This electricity project would power water projects around Ogoniland and also power small scale industries so that cottage industries can flourish for employment of young people.”

The minister stated that Buhari remained committed to the Ogoni cleanup project and all the concerns raised by the people.

“The President has expressed some reservation in view of the slow pace of the cleanup, but he has equally expressed confidence in the new project coordinator.”

“We are working with UNEP and they have identified some of these areas of challenge. We are going to stay faithful to those areas identified and ensure that we deliver.”

Responding on behalf of the people, the Chairman of the Supreme Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers, HRM Godwin Giniwa, expressed optimism that the new minister would implement the UNEP Report according to international specifications.

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