The Federal Government has said that there is no going back on its cleanup initiative in Ogoni Land as all is now set to commence the full implementation of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) in the community.
Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jibril made this knownon Thursday at the opening of a two-day retreat of the Ministry with the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP and its Consultants held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The Minister who was represented by his Senior Technical Assistant, Dr Ishiyaku Mohammed reiterated government's commitment to the actualization of a friendly and habitable environment in the Niger Delta, stressing that “President Muhammadu Buhari is personally very concerned about the environmental degradation of the region and has already directed for a timely and effective clean-up of the Ogoni land".
He explained that the planning stage for the clean-up of Ogoniland was consistent with the recommendations of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) Report and it is now time for the full remediation of the land and other deliverables contained in the report. According to him, the Federal Government was conscious of the anxiety of the Ogoni people over the perceived delay in the clean-up of their communities and assured that the much awaited next phase of the project which the people have been looking forward to is now ready for implementation.
He said this underscored the importance of the Retreat which is to harmonize the workplan of the Units and that of the Consultants so as to have an energized HYPREP team built on mutual trust with a well defined line of communication. The retreat, he added, is to also create the platform for a seamless coordination of the implementation of the remediation projects already advertised and which are expected to commence around September 2018.
Earlier, the Project Coordinator of HYPREP, Dr Marvin Dekil in his remarks called on the Consultants which are the Project Management Consultant, Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant and Communication Consultant to see their roles as complementary and harmonize expertise to deliver on the mandate of the project.
Other highlights of the retreat include a paper presentation by the three consultants on their work plans followed by question and answer session. (END)
Saghir el Mohammed
Federal Ministry of Environment