I’ll Not Disappoint Ogoni People, New HYPREP Projects Co-ordinator Assures

The new Projects Coordinator of Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), Dr. Ferdinand Dumbari Giadom has pledged his readiness to execute the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report for Ogoniland to the letter.

Dr. Giadom who resumed duties a week ago, also pledged to execute the mandate given to him by the federal government regarding the completion of the clean-up of oil impacted areas of Ogoni.

Addressing journalists in a press briefing held at the newly acquired office of HYPREP along Stadium Road in Port Harcourt on Monday, the new HYPREP boss said part of his plan of remediating the excruciating pains suffered by Ogonis following years of degradation of their environment, is the introduction of an economic development programme.

He said the programme would center on agricultural productivity as Ogonis are naturally agrarian.  “They would not need to learn agriculture but will just come and practice what they already know”, he said, adding that the economic development programme would be sustainable and holistic.

The HYPREP Projects Coordinator said a scheme known as Agripreneur would be introduced whereby people will take agriculture as a business and grow that particular sector.

According to him, “The agricultural sector is so important to us because we see that this is where we have the potentials of engaging and providing jobs for our teeming unemployed youths”, he said, noting that Ogoni used to be the food basket of the Niger Delta, and that implementing the programme would rewrite the narrative. 

“We are going to move away from the traditional agricultural practice where people are still using crude implements for farming and agricultural practices.  That is what makes it unattractive to these youths.

We shall provide enabling environment that people will practice climate smart agriculture.  As an Agriprenuer, people will be able to earn decent living and be proud of the job they are doing.

We shall also provide processing facilities that will turn the products into finished goods of export quality.  Imagine a scenario where you will see 20 hectares of land dedicated to production of vegetables alone.  Imagine a scenario where you can have a 10,000-capacity poultry farm that is fully automated with capacity to produce 8,000 eggs a day and replicated in each of the four local government areas of Ogoni land. 

“We will train Ogoni people who would be Agricultural Extension Officers, to grant expert advice to farmers in their farms. 

“We will have a data base of all farmers and the produce they specialize in; have close interaction with farmers and tell them the best time to crop due to climate change which we are going to monitor and relate with them.

“We shall aid farmers with modern and improved farming tools.  For instance, in Gokana area where I come from, when we want to plant yam, we bend down to dig holes before planting.  But we are going to introduce automated equipment that you just put down and it will dig without effort.  With that you could dig a thousand holes within a day, and that will improve productivity”, Giadom said.

The HYPREP boss also disclosed that the water project contracts that had already been awarded, will be fast-tracked to ensure that all communities get portable water before the end of the year.

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