By Rose Audu
The Federal Government of Nigeria in its implementation report of the Ogoniland Clean-Up project said it has been able to provide a total of 2000 temporary jobs for the youth in the affected communities.
This was made known by the Minister of Environment, Dr. Mahmoud Abubakar while briefing the media on the implementation of UNEP report on Ogoniland clean-up project Tuesday in Abuja.
According to the minister, “882 community youths have been engaged by Batch 1 remediation contractors, while additional 1118 community youths are being engaged by Batch 2 remediation contractors.”
“A total of 2000 temporal jobs were created in the course of remediation across the four LGAs of Ogoniland besides the numerous indirect jobs that are to be created in the form of trading and support activities.”
The federal government on 2nd June, 2016, flagged off the Ogoniland Clean-up project at Bodo in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State and inaugurated three governing structures of the project namely: the Governing Council (GC) (the policy making organ), the Board of Trustees (BoT) (receives and manages the funds of the project) and the Project Coordination Office (PCO) which is responsible for the day to day running of the project.
HYPREP was charged with the responsibilities of remediating and restoring hydrocarbon contaminated areas, provide potable water to impacted communities and to make available sustainable means of livelihood to the impacted communities and undertake health inventory of people living in impacted areas.
Speaking further, Abubakar noted that “Seventeen (17) Lots have been completed by HYPREP out of which ten have been closed-out by National Oil Spill Detection Agency (NOSDRA). Certification sampling of three Lots for close-out has been completed while the other three are awaiting certification sampling for close-out by NOSDRA.
“The remaining five which are yet to be completed by HYPREP are at various stages of completion.”
He added that ‘”Thirty-Six (36) remediation contracts comprise of two (2) Project activities namely: soil remediation works (29 lots) and Tier 2 (T-2) Assessment of groundwater works (7 lots) were awarded in February 2020. However, due to the global corona virus pandemic in the first and second quarters of 2020, activities preceding mobilization of these contractors to sites were slowed down.
“As at today, nine (9) remediation lots have been completed and are awaiting NOSDRA certification and Seven (7) other contracts for detail quantitative environmental risk assessment to determine ground water conditions in some selected sites were completed.”
The minister also said “a tripartite capacity building partnership between the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the Stakeholders Democracy Network (SDN) trained 15 youths from the four Local Government Areas of Ogoniland.”
“The PCO proposed to train 1,200 Ogoni women in various entrepreneurial skills from the 4 LGAs of Ogoniland. The Agribusiness Skill Training and Empowerment Programme for 400 Ogoni women was initiated as an integral part of the front–end activities of the clean-up of Ogoni land.”
Abubakar said the primary objective is aimed at presenting sustainable agriculture and agribusiness as alternative sources of livelihood for women in the country.