Naomi Gabriel —
The Nigerian government recently reiterated its commitment to effective implementation of Ogoni clean-up project.
Minister of State for Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor, said this at a ministerial briefing on the activities of the ministry in Abuja.
Ikeazor said that the ministry and United Nations for Environmental Programme (UNEP) had conducted an independent assessment of hydrocarbon pollution in Ogoniland.
She said that the UNEP report on the environmental assessment of Ogoniland had been submitted to the Federal Government, adding that the ministry was accelerating the remediation project and expanding on the livelihood programme of the hydrocarbon-impacted communities.
The minister said that the needs assessment forms were targeted at providing artisanal refiners with alternative livelihoods, through acquisition of new skills.
She said 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.
“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 Ogoniland is undergoing 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,’’ she said.
Ikeazor also said that Nigeria had developed an energy transition plan which showed a detailed roadmap to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seven by 2030 and net zero by 2060.
According to her, the roadmap highlights the scale of the efforts required for a developing nation to achieve net zero.
The minister said that 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.
“In collaboration with Energy Commission of Nigeria, through the support and expertise of the United Kingdom government, we launched the Nigeria energy calculator.
“This is as 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,’’ she said.
Also speaking, Minister of State for Works and Housing, Alhaji Mua’zu Sambo, said that his ministry would continue to work with its environment counterpart to ensure that environmental challenges were effectively addressed.
Sambo commended Ikeazor for her commitment to tackling environmental issues, adding that the efforts would help in keeping the environment in safe shape.