04 August 2018, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — The Federal Government on Friday announced the postponement of the date for the commencement of the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP’s, report on oil-impacted sites in Ogoniland to October – two months from now.
Recall that Minister of State for Environment, Mr. Ibrahim Jibril had in April this year announced that Ogoni clean-up will commence this month, as the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP, and the Ministry of Environment were in the process of selecting the best companies from the list that tendered bids for the clean-up exercise.
The Federal Government had also assured that local and international companies have tendered bids for the clean up project and that actual clean up and provision of potable water to Ogoni people would commenced in August, after the selection process.
But the Minister of State for Environment, who is also the chairman, Governing Council of HYPREP, while speaking in Port Harcourt at the 2nd stakeholders’ meeting on Ogoni clean up organised by HYPREP in Port Harcourt, said the clean up will now commenced in October.
Jibril explained that HYPREP has used the last one year to put in place the recommended structure to pave the way for the actual clean up exercise.
He further disclosed that HYPREP has in the last one year embarked on community sensitization and training of Ogoni youths, who are graduates of environmental sciences, on skills needed to monitor the clean up exercise.
“President Buhari is committed to clean up of Ogoniland; for the last one year, the governing council and HYPREP have been working hard and leaving no stones unturned in ensuring that this project will come out successful.
“We are now at the last stage of preparation to enable the commencement of the actual clean up of Ogoniland which will commence in October.”
Jibril, who was represented by an official of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Dr. Ishaku Mohammed, assured stakeholders and residents of the oil impacted Ogoniland that no part of the fund paid for the remediation process would be diverted for any other use.
He also assured that all the money so far paid for the project were intact in a designated account, adding that an Ogoni Trust Fund has been incorporated.
Also speaking, the Project Coordinator of HYPREP, Dr. Marvin Dekil, explained that the actual clean up of oil impacted sites was delayed because of the procedures that will lead to the exercise.
For his part, a member of Ogoni clean up board of trustees and President of KAGOTE, Dr. Peter Medee, disclosed that the board has successfully opened an account with a foreign bank, adding that the success would guarantee security of funds for the project.