The Federal Government says it is fully committed to comprehensive remediation of the polluted areas of Ogoniland and the restoration of livelihood to the affected communities.
The Minister of Environment, Dr Muhammad Abubakar, stated this during a recent tour of Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) facilities and some remediation sites at Ogoni in Rivers State.
Mr Saghir el Mohammed, who is the Director of Press at the ministry, gave an update on the minister’s visit in a statement in a series of tweets on Tuesday.
The Minister made the visited at the weekend to assess the progress being made on various remediation sites across the land, in line with the United Nations Environment Programme report on Ogoniland.
He assured the people that President Muhammadu Buhari was very passionate and committed to the full implementation of the UN report on Ogoniland.
Dr Abubakar also visited the Chairman of Ogoniland Council of Chiefs, King G. N. K. Gininwa, in his palace where he told the traditional ruler that the Ogoni clean-up was a vital project of the present administration.
He said, “The Ogoni clean-up is a signature project, the first of its kind in Africa and the world with no existing template but rather, HYPREP was developing one that would be used hereafter for the remediation of the rest of the Niger Delta”.
The minister assured the people of Ogoni that the Federal Government was not just concerned about remediating the environment but was also concerned about the well-being and economic life of the people.
He stated, “The Federal Government is aware that there are several other challenges you are facing as a result of the pollution.
“That is why even though the core mandate of HYPREP is to remediate the land other programmes have been built into the Project to address some of these challenges.”
In his remarks, King Gininwa appealed to the minister for the inclusion of the Ogonis and to ensure that the people benefit fully from the clean-up project.
He added that the people of Ogoni were prepared to support the Federal Government towards full and successful implementation of the UN report in Ogoniland.
Dr Abubakar, in his response, said, “ I am glad to know that there is a strong synergy between the Ogoni leadership, the people and HYPREP.
“I thank you especially for the high level of support and cooperation given to the Project. Today, I am here not just to see the sites but to also meet with you the great people of Ogoniland”.