Presidency on Sunday, said significant progress is now being recorded in the Ogoni Clean-Up project, attracting local and international commendation for the Buhari administration’s New Vision for the Niger Delta
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, response to media inquiries over the weekend, reeled out the progress report on the Niger Delta, adding that “since the Ogoni Cleanup 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.”
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, had in 2016, flagged off the clean-up exercise in the region.
This is besides the commencement of the Maritime University in Delta State now on full steam with over 1,000 students spread across 13 undergraduate courses in three faculties; and the progress made in the establishment of modular refineries, including the Niger Delta Resources Refinery, NDPR which has now moved from 1,000 Bpd to 6,000 Bpd a few weeks ago.
Akande revealed that six modular refineries are currently at different stages of completion in the 6 Niger Delta region
With the establishment of modular refineries in the region, analysts are of the view that these modular refineries will empower people in the region and also improve the local economy in communities where they are located.
“So far, six modular refineries are currently at different stages of completion in the Niger Delta region. The refineries are located in six states in the Niger Delta: Rivers, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Imo, Bayelsa and Cross River. This includes the Niger Delta Petroleum Resources Refinery (NDPR), in Ogbele, Rivers State, which was refining at 1,000 bpd, and was recently upgraded to 6,000 bpd.”
Giving further details on the Ogoni Clean-Up, Akande disclosed that “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,” adding that local and international commendation are being received by the Buhari Administration on the progress of the Clean-up.
It would be recalled that the 2011 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoniland devastated by decades of oil spills was not implemented until June 2016, when the Buhari administration kickstarted its implementation.
“the commitment of the Buhari administration to the Ogoni cleanup 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.”
The Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria, Marion Kappeyne Van de Coppello, hàd n August 2019 when she visited one of the sites in Eleme Local Government Area, that
“I can see that work is ongoing and hopefully it will produce results soon,”
“Also, during an inspection visit, the UNEP team leader, Mike Cowing, said the re-engagement of the UNEP team for the Ogoni clean-up shows the commitment of the Federal Government to effectively implement the UNEP Report. “We see that very sincere plans are being put together. We are part of the planning and we would be part of the implementation,” Cowing said.
The report also noted that, “as part of its commitment, HYPREP and UNEP recently trained young Ogoni scientists and other indigenes with relevant professional qualification from Ogoni. Twenty-one of these young Ogoni youths have returned from Geneva and United Kingdom, after an intensive training in Management of Contaminated Site Assessment, Clean-up Assessment, Clean-up of Contaminated Sites and Field Work Techniques.”
Other ongoing development projects under the Buhari administration’s Niger Delta New Vision include the take-off of the Nigeria Maritime University in Okerenkoko, Delta State.
The University had commenced full academic activities for the 2017/2018 academic year in April, 2018, with a total of 370 students spread across 13 undergraduate programmes in three Faculties approved by the NUC, namely: Transport, Engineering and Environmental Ma.