The Federal Government says it has achieved remediation of 635 hectares of contaminated shorelines covering about 2,196 intertidal in Ogoniland, Rivers State.
The Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, spoke at a “Scorecard, PMB-Administration” event, organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture, on Wednesday in Abuja.
Mr Abdullah said that the ministry had set up a Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP, to ensure security and promote peace-building efforts in impacted communities.
He said that the aim of the HYPREP was also to enhance local capacity for better environmental management, promote awareness of sound environmental management, ensure livelihoods and sustainable development.
“The ministry, conscious of the need to ensure effective and timely implementation of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report on the Ogoni clean-up in line with Mr President`s commitment has achieved various programmes.
“The achievement includes remediation of 21 sites covering about 230 hectares out of the 65 sites reported in the UNEP report fact sheet.
“Assessed additional 213 grids consisting of 200x200m two per grid of shorelines which will pave way for the actual clean-up and remediation of 635 hectares of contaminated shorelines.
“The ministry with 20 cooperatives already set up by HYPREP and duly registered with Rivers State Ministry of Commerce and Industry Cooperative Unit for the training of the women.
“The ministry has also trained 400 Ogoni women in agribusiness and entrepreneurial skills and trained 5,000 Ogoni youths in various skills acquisition to promote alternative livelihood and economic empowerment,’’ he said.
Mr Abdullahi said that the UNEP report was commissioned and delivered to the Federal Government.
He said that the report makes recommendations to the government, the oil and gas industry and communities to begin a comprehensive cleanup of Ogoniland.
He added that the reports also included the restoration of polluted environments and to put an end to all forms of ongoing oil contamination in the region.
Mr Abdullahi said that the ministry obtained Federal Executive Council`s (FEC), approval of N491, 275,000 for engagement of 500 Ogoni youths as local security at various HYPREP sites.
He said that health outreaches and health surveys had been undertaken to provide a basis for more detailed cohort studies in the communities.
He said that the ministry constructed six water supply schemes with a capacity of supplying 2400m3 of potable water per day to communities across four Local Government Areas of Ogoniland.
He said the phase one of the schemes was at 85 per cent completion while phase two was currently undergoing procurement process.
According to Mr Abdullahi, the ministry wants to ensure energy sufficiency power and petroleum products by keying into the Energy Transition Plan, ETP.
He explained that the ETP was developed with twin objectives of achieving the universal access to energy by 2030 and for a carbon-neutral energy system by 2060.