By Lawrence Olaoye
The Presidency has said that the government’s efforts in repositioning the Niger-Delta region for accelerated development was on course.
According to a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by the spokesman to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Laolu Akande, significant progress has been made in the Ogoni Clean-Up project.
He said progress made had been variously commended locally and internationally.
“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,” he disclosed.
Other projects ongoing in the area include the commencement of the Maritime University in Delta State, which he claimed, is 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 couple of weeks ago.
There are altogether six modular refineries currently at different stages of completion in the 6 Niger Delta states of Rivers, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Imo States, he added.
Giving 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.
Akande said the Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria, Marion Kappeyne Van de Coppello many other reknown global environmentalists attested to the progress made so far in Ogoni Clean-Up project.
Other landmark ongoing projects in the Niger Delta, Akande stated, were Nigerian Maritime University in Okerenkoko, Delta State which commenced full academic activities last year; ongoing Federal Government’s Presidential Amnesty Presidential Amnesty Programme which continues to engage ex-militants and youths in the Niger Delta in formal education, vocational skills acquisition and empowerment schemes, while creating jobs for beneficiaries amongst others.
The Niger Delta region is also benefitting from the Buhari administration’s efforts to improve the country’s infrastructure, including the Bonny-Bodo road and bridge project.
The completed Itakpe-Warri rail line as well as the proposed development of sea ports in Warri, Ibaka deep sea port, among other development projects like the establishment of Export Processing Zones to boost economic activities are also part of the goodies for the region.
He added that the ongoing reorganisation and audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), was to benefit the people.