The Federal Government of Nigeria on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 said it has mobilised 16 contractors to carry out environmental remediation and cleanup of oil spill in Ogoniland in the Niger Delta region.
Minister of Environment, Alhaji Suleiman Zarma, said this when a group of ambassadors interested in the remediation of the oil spill in the Niger Delta visited him in Abuja.
The group includes ambassadors from Norway (Jens Petter), Netherlands (Michel Deelen), United Kingdom (Henriette Thompson), Germany (Benhard Schlagheck), France (Jerome Pasquier), European Union (Ketil Karlsen) and United States (David Young).
Zarma, who expressed the Federal Government’s determination to restore land degraded by oil spill in Ogoni, said that mobilisation fees had been paid to contractors to enable them to commence the remediation.
He said that the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), a Federal Government coordinating office saddled with responsibility of remediation, commenced the implementation of project through consultation and sensitisation of communities.
The minister said that the idea was to involve communities to take ownership of the project.
According to him, all scientists driving the remediation project in HYPREP are indigenous people.
The Project Coordinator of HYPREP, Dr Marvin Dekil, said that HYPREP has a Board of Trustee which determines the release of fund for the implementation of the remediation project.
Dekil added that the Governing Council of HYPREP, chaired by the Minister of Environment, would serve as administrative body for the project implementation.
According to him, HYPREP also has livelihood programme aimed at restoring livable life for people of Ogoniland.
Dr. Marvin Dekil, hinted that the government had trained 15 indigenous scientists from Ogoni who were used for the demonstration project. He further stressed that the oil pollution in Ogoniland is devastating and has affected lives negatively, adding that sustained livelihood is one of the major mandates of HYPREP.
Dekil said that HYPREP would soon commence the training of 1,200 women in the community, starting with the first 200, adding that United Nations (UN) would set up their office in Port Harcourt, Rivers State next month, having conducted an on- the-spot assessment in Ogoniland.
He declared that international oil companies were satisfied with the clean-up which informed their release of the sum of $ 170 million into the Escrow account.