08 February 2013 – The Rivers State Government has called on the federal government to implement the recommendations of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) assessment report on the effects of oil spill on OgonilandMr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the Rivers state governor made the call when he recieved a technical team of the Hydrocarbon Pollution, Restoration Project (HYPRP) in Port Harcourt.
The governornoted that sustainable implementation of the recommendations by HYPRP would be guaranteed by an infusion of appropriate socio-economic contents into the remediation schedule.
Amaechi told the team, including the National Coordinator of HYPRP, Joy Mumeh and experts from the John Hopkins University, that the people of Ogoniland would appreciate efforts of the government in implementing contents of the report when means of creating wealth to improve their socio-economic status are justly evolved.
“I am a politician but not particularly a good one because politicians are known to say the opposite of what they mean. It was important that I receive you people if not for anything else but to dispel rumours that the government of Rivers State is not in support of your activities.
“But I must tell you that you must infuse means of creating wealth to reduce poverty in Ogoniland. HYPRP is existing today because there were pipeline breakages and pollution in Ogoniland but what do you have to do to stop these breakages? You have to create jobs for the people,” Amaechi said.
“Do you believe that you will wake up one day and there will be no oil pollution in the Niger Delta? I don’t think so, but I must say that unemployment contributes to some of the reasons why there are pipeline breakages and then pollution and this is the socio-economic reality of the situation.
“Ogoni people are very progressive and brilliant and I will warn you to be careful how you manage HYPRP. They are taking notes of your activities and will soon call you to account; so you have to be honest in your dealings. Let the Federal Government develop massive farms in areas that are not contaminated in Ogoniland, we have done our best but more has to be done.”
The HYPRP team, during its visit, caught a team of military personnel of the Joint Task Force (JTF) stationed at Sisioke in Eleme Local Government Area of the state allegedly stealing petroleum products from a Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/Pipeline Products Marketing Company (PPMC) pipeline passing through Sisioke.