Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
The Ogoni clean-up project launched by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in June 2016 is being implemented in 21 states, the presidency disclosed last night.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, in a statement, said a total of 21 sites had been handed over to contractors by Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP) under the Environment Ministry.
According to him, 16 of the 21 contractors have already moved to sites.
“Since the Ogoni Clean-up commenced in January 2019, with 16 contractors moving to site, a total of 21 sites has so far been handed over to contractors by Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP) under the Federal Ministry of Environment,” Akande said.
Akande who explained that the 21 sites are located in four local government areas, proceeded to list the council areas.
“The 21 sites where remediation works are ongoing are located in four of the Local Government Areas in Ogoniland, namely: Eleme, Tai, Khana and Gokana Local Government Areas,” he said.
According to him, the development has earned the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari both local and international commendations on the progress of the clean-up so far.
He recalled that the 2011 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoniland devastated by decades of oil spills was not implemented until this administration flagged off the clean-up exercise in the region.
He said: “The commitment of the Buhari administration to the Ogoni clean-up process has received several local and international endorsements, with visits to the sites by the Dutch Ambassador, British Deputy High Commissioner, US Ambassador, German Ambassador, Norwegian Ambassador, UNEP team, among others, all attesting to the progress being recorded in the Clean-up.”
Akande also quoted the Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria, Marion Kappeyne Van de Coppello, as saying in August 2019, “I can see that work is ongoing and hopefully it will produce results soon.”
He said the ambassador made the remarks when she visited one of the sites in Ebube community in Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State.