24 March 2018, Sweetcrude, Abuja – A member of the Board of Trustees of the Hydrocarbon Remediation Project (HYPREP), Mr. Mike Emuh, has said the seeming delay in the commencement of the cleanup of Ogoni land, was as a result of the special nature of the project, as well as economic and technical challenges.
In an interview with reporters in Abuja, Emuh, who is also the National Chairman of Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCOM) said the Ogoni cleanup project was unlike infrastructure projects where contractors quote, and were then mobilized to site.
Emuh, who is representing oil-producing communities on the HYPREP Board, said the cleanup was present at the demonstration stages and a number of companies were already at the sites displaying their competencies.
According to him, the project was delayed because of issues of locating a site where the wastes could be dropped for conversion to energy; other factors included Nigeria’s economic recession and challenges in the Niger Delta region which hampered Nigeria’s revenue profile and the inability of the Federal Government to include the project in the budget of the country in 2016 and 2017.
Project Coordinator of HYPREP, Dr. Marvin Dekil, recently assured the people of Ogoniland in Rivers State that the Federal government is committed to the completion of the remediation of the area even as a progress report on work is done n the project.
Dekil said the following activities had been accomplished as part of the implementation process of the Ogoni clean-up exercise including Mass community sensitisation activities across all four LGAs; and demonstration of remediation technologies in Ogale, Korokoro, Kwakwa and B.Dere communities.
He added that the technical demonstrations were carried out by companies at no cost to HYPREP.
Other activities include training of technical staff to increase competence on the job, signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by the Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jubril with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) for the restoration of livelihoods in the communities, and the implementation of health outreach programme which he described as “the first step towards the health impact assessment study as recommended in the UNEP Report.”
He added that “The exercise enabled us to carry out an initial public health data as well as provide healthcare services to the Ogoni people.”
Reports have it that the Ogoni Clean-up exercise may take up to 30 years to complete.