19 October 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The House of Representatives Committee on Environment and Habitat has expressed displeasure over the delay in the commencement of the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme’s report on the clean-up of oil-polluted sites in Ogoniland, Rivers State.
Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Obinna Chidoka, expressed the displeasure when he led seven other members of the committee on a visit to some oil-polluted sites in Ogoni, including Korokoro in Tai Local Government Area of the state on Monday.
Speaking when the Committee members met with the Project Coordinator of the Hydrocarbon Pollution and Remediation Project, HYPREP, Chidoka expressed concern over the pace of work, adding that the committee was ready to assist with regulations that would help in fast-tracking the clean-up.
He charged HYPREP to develop a timetable for the clean-up in order to have target on the implementation, explaining that the people of Ogoni were being devastated everyday due to the pollution.
According to him, “What we want to achieve is what is affecting every Nigerian, this mandate has been given to HYPREP, so we are here to know the level of progress, we are here to have first hand information on the challenges you are facing.
“A time table should be developed in the clean up process such will help to guide the project, we are seeing the delays in the actual commencement of the clean up of Ogoni and it is not good.
“We want the people of Ogoni to have a clean environment, we are desirous that Ogoni should be cleaned up for the people to live happily, not just clean up but within a duration; we are here because of the implementation and the pace on the process,” the lawmaker said.
For his part, the Project Coordinator of HYPREP, Dr. Marvin Dekil, pointed out that bureaucratic bottlenecks in the system was affecting the implementation process.
Dekil who reiterated the commitment of HYPREP in the implementation of the clean up, appealed to the lawmakers to make policies that would reduced the bottlenecks in the system hindering the process.
“We have to follow the law, we have to follow the provided laws in our operations, we are doing the things we are supposed to do; if they will make laws and allow us work without it we will appreciate it to speed up the project.
“Help us deliver the government’s mandate to clean up Ogoni and provide livelihood to the people,” he said.