Ogoni clean-up drawing international acclaim, presidency declares
The presidency at the weekend claimed that the progress recorded in the Ogoni clean up project in line with the government’s vision for the Niger Delta was attracting local and international commendation.
According to the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, since the clean-up commenced in January 2019, with 16 contractors moving to site, 21 sites has so far been handed over to contractors by Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP) under the Federal Ministry of Environment.
He was responding to media inquiries on the progress report on the project.
This, he said, is besides the commencement of the maritime university in Delta State now on full steam with over 1,000 students spread across 13 undergraduate courses in three faculties, and the progress made in the establishment of modular refineries, including the Niger Delta Resources Refinery (NDPR), which has now moved from 1,000bpd to 6,000bpd.
“There are altogether six modular refineries at different stages of completion in the six Niger Delta states of Rivers, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Imo.”
Giving details on the clean-up, Akande disclosed that “the 21 sites where remediation works are ongoing are located in four councils in Ogoniland, namely Eleme, Tai, Khana and Gokana,” adding that local and international commendation were being received by the Buhari administration on the progress of the clean-up.
He said the 2011 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoniland devastated by decades of oil spills was not implemented until June 2016, when the administration kick-started it, with the vice president flagging off the exercise in the region.
“The commitment of the Buhari administration to the Ogoni clean-up process has received several local and international endorsements, with visits to the sites by the Dutch Ambassador, British Deputy High Commissioner, United States Ambassador, German Ambassador, Norwegian Ambassador, UNEP team, among others, all attesting to the progress being recorded in the clean-up.
The Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria, Marion Kappeyne Van de Coppello, according to Akande, had said in August 2019 when she visited one of the sites in Eleme Council: “I can see that work is ongoing and hopefully it will produce results soon.”
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