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FG reiterates commitment to Ogoni clean-up

Workers engaged in the Ogoni clean up

The Federal Government, on Monday, reiterated its commitment to effective implementation of the Ogoni clean-up project.

The Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, at a ministerial briefing in Abuja, said the Ministry and United Nations for Environmental Programme (UNEP), had conducted an independent assessment of hydrocarbon pollution in Ogoni land.

She said the UNEP report on the environmental assessment of Ogoni land had been submitted to the Federal Government, adding that the Ministry is accelerating the remediation project and expanding the livelihood programme of the hydrocarbon-impacted communities.

Ikeazor also said the government is providing artisanal refiners with alternative livelihoods through acquisition of new skills, adding that about 500 community youths would be employed as local security at the various Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) sites in Ogoni land water supply.

She said: “In line with UNEP recommendations, our drive to accelerate the provision of potable water to hydrocarbon-impacted communities in Ogoniland is gradually achieving results.

“In May 2021, contractors were mobilised to six sites at Alesa Eleme, Ebubu and Nsisioken, Terrabo, Gokana, Barako/B-Dere/K-Dere and they have achieved significant progress.

“The communities in Alesa, Eleme Local Government Area, are now enjoying potable water supply. The process of acquiring additional 14 water projects to cover other communities in Ogoni land is undergoing a procurement process.

“The procurement process for the design of Centre of Excellence for Environmental Restoration, along with an Integrated Contaminated Soil Management Centre, has begun, in line with UNEP recommendations.”

Energy transition plan

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ikeazor said Nigeria has developed an energy transition plan, which showed a detailed roadmap to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 7) by 2030 and net zero by 2060.

According to her, the roadmap highlights the scale of the efforts required for a developing nation like Nigeria to achieve net zero.

The procurement process for the design of Centre of Excellence for Environmental Restoration, along with an Integrated Contaminated Soil Management Centre, has begun, in line with UNEP recommendations.

The minister said the Nigerian Sovereign Green Bond was issued in line with the country’s Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP), adding that the bonds were used in financing environmental-friendly projects through debts tied to sustainability targets.

She continued: “In collaboration with the Energy Commission of Nigeria, through the support and expertise of the United Kingdom government, we launched the Nigeria energy calculator.

“This is a tool for generating evidence to support intelligent policy-making around energy and climate change. The Ministry has made considerable progress in addressing environmental concerns in the country.

“This has been made possible through collaboration with other relevant organisations, both national and international, including MDAs, states and local governments.”

Also speaking, the Minister of State for Works and Housing, Mua’zu Sambo, said his Ministry will continue to work with its Environment counterpart to ensure that environmental challenges are effectively addressed.

Sambo commended Ikeazor for her commitment to tackling environmental issues, adding that such efforts will help in keeping the environment safe.

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