As part of measures for effective remediation and provision of pipe borne waters to the oil impacted communities of Ogoni in Rivers State, the federal government has disclosed plans to link the entire Ogoniland to the national grid.
Speaking when during a courtesy visit to the Gbenemene Tai andChairman of the Supreme Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers, KingG.N.K. Giniwa at his palace in Tai, Minister of Environment, Barr. Mohammed H. Abdullahi said the plan was to ensure that the water project is powered uninterrupted.
He also disclosed that the light project was a directive from President Muhammadu Buhari, to implement the objective and mandate of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP).
The minister who, a fortnight ago, took over from Sharon Ikeazor, said aside from remediation and the water projects, the ministry had to ensure that the people get an uninterrupted power supply to improve their wellbeing.
“Having realized that for the water projects to be sustainable anden during, the federal government is expanding the objectives of the project mandate to ensure that the entire Ogoniland is linked with the national grid.
“We hope that these done, small scale industries will begin to thrive, and we can also encourage cottage industries and ultimately employ our younger people”, he said.
Abdullahi said he was in Ogoniland on familiarization tour and get firsthand information about the true state of things.
“I also want to get the blessings of the Gbenemene Tai and that of Ogoni ancestors, so that we can work around peacefully and successfully”, he said.
The Environment Minister, who was accompanied on the visit by a retinue of officials including the Projects Coordinator of HYPREP, Dr. Ferdinand Dumbari Giadom and the Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Public Affairs, Ajuri Ngelale,
extended the President’s appeal to Ogonis not to be discouraged or disappointed by the delay in execution of the projects.
“The President further conveys his intentions and desires for Ogonis to stay focused on the delivery of these projects in Ogoniland. He has assured that all the concerns raised about the HYPREP are being addressed promptly, particularly things to do with procurement, employment and management issues.
“He is addressing them and assuring that in the next couple of months, you will see proper execution of these projects to the satisfaction of Ogoni people. And it is important that we carry you along as the Ogoni royal father.
“I will equally convey to Mr. President that you and your people gave us a very warm reception”, he said.
In his response, King Giniwa described the visit as most welcome as it further underscores the resolve of the federal government to better the lives of Ogonis.
He acknowledged that HYPREP had not done badly, adding however that its operation had been very slow, urging the agency to up its game.
The Gbenemene Tai urged the minister to convey his appreciation to the President for the laudable appointments of Ogoni sons and daughters into his government, particularly the duo of the Projects Coordinator of HYPREP, Dr. Ferdinand Dumbari Giadom and the Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Public Affairs, Ajuri Ngelale.
The Environment minister in course of the visit also touched the palaces of the Gbenemene Gokana Kingdom, HRH, Festus Bagia; Gbenemene Babbe, HRM, King Monday K.F. Noryaa as well as the monarch of Eleme, King Obelle.