…As Ogoni Youths Confer Award On Environment Minister
The United Nations Office for Projects Services (UNOPS) is expected to take over implementation processes in the Ogoniland cleanup in January of 2024.
This followed the expiration of implementation services by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) this year.
Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdulahi revealed this during an award presentation ceremony for his performance in the Ogoniland cleanup in Abuja on Tuesday.
During the award, the Minister acknowledged that in the coming days, President Mohammed Buhari would perform ground breaking of the recently approved Specialist Hospital and the Center of Excellence for Environmental Restoration and others.
According to the Minister, UNEP’s mandate would be coming to an end this year during which UNEP would withdraw services in Ogoni land.
He said the UN has however made arrangements with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), adding that UNEP was at the moment, working with UNOPS to transit between UNEP and UNOPS.
His words, “So, it’s important that we know this transition is ongoing for the benefit of our people in Ogoniland”.
The Minister disclosed that a number of projects have been approved by the President and Federal Executive Council (FEC), some of which include the Center of Excellence, 100-bed hospitals and the Ogoni power project.
“The President has signified in principle that he will flag off the ground breaking ceremony of this project in this month of April.
So, we are on course. Before we leave, we will try as much as we can to ensure that Mr. President set on course the trajectory of project implementations in Ogoniland.
“We are also in the final process of the shoreline remediation which is to do with the areas which the mangrove has destroyed.
Some Ogoni people have misunderstood our mindset and efforts and have gone to court to restrain government from doing one thing or the other.
“We are engaging them both at the court level and personal level to see that the project remain on track so that we deliver on the mandate on what the federal government and UNEP agreed”, he said.
Earlier, while presenting an award of excellent performance to the Minister on behalf of Ogoni Youths Federation (OYF) World Wide, President General of the group, Mr. Legborsi Yamaabana, appreciated the Minister for his keen interest and commitment towards the implementation success of the hydro pollution remediation project by the federal government.
“On behalf of the Ogoni Youths Federation (OYF), I bring you warm greetings and deep appreciation for the kind interest and commitment you have shown so far towards the implementation of the UNEP report on Ogoniland as well as the success of HYPREP”, he said.
Yamaabana described HYPREP as one strategic federal government intervention initiative whose essence and significance cannot be over emphasized.
While commending successive Ministers of Environment who have made their contributions and superintended over the Ogoni cleanup project, the Ogoni youths leader stressed that under Abduylahi’s watch as Environment, he had achieved what he described as several uncommon milestones in the cleanup project.
“You have proven to all that indeed, you are the square peg for this square responsibility. We are here on behalf of the entire Ogoni youths to reassure you of our continued support and prayers in all your efforts to succeed with HYPREP”, he said.
The OYF President-General said it was as a mark of encouragement that the Minister was being presented the award of outstanding performance, hoping that the award would spur and motivate him and his team to do more for Ogoniland, Niger Delta and the Nigerian state.