Nigerian Government has restated that its commitment to the clean up of Ogoni is unwavering.
Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibril stated this while speaking at a round table stakeholders meeting held on the progress of the implementation of the clean up held in Port Harcourt.
Senior Technical Adviser to the Minister of State for Environment, Ishaku Mohammed who spoke on behalf of the Minister, said the stakeholders’ meeting is based on the directive of the government for periodic assessment of the clean up process.
The Minister said the slow pace of the clean up is not deliberate but an opportunity to set up institutional structures that will stand the test of time, adding that the Ogoni clean up is a pilot project that is meant to set precedents for other impacted sites in the Niger Delta.
The Minister called for support and patience from Ogonis just as he disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari is taking the Ogoni clean up very seriously.
“Anything that is good should never be done in a hurry. I don’t think we will achieve much if we go with the speed of light.
“The Ogoni Clean Up is a complex program that is very dear to this administration. Our aim is to set a precedent that can stand the test to time,” he said.
The Project Coordinator of Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP, Marvin Dekil said remarkable achievements has been achieved since the beginning of the implementation of the UNEP report nine months ago.
Dekil while addressing stakeholders in Port Harcourt, explained that the Agency has experienced challenges in the course of their operations.
He said HYPREP has made meaningful achievements in the aspects of sensitization, provision of water, demonstration, health impact study, training and other emergency measures in impacted communities across the four local government areas of Ogoni.
He also noted that HYPREP is committed to setting the best standard in order to ensure that the Ogoni clean up is not compromised.
Dekil, however, assured that remediation work will soon begin in oil impacted communities in Ogoni as part of the next stage of the clean up.