Ogoni: Cleanup to Create 1000 Jobs - Says NOSDRA DG

Relevant staff of The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) will join in the Ogoni clean-up expected to commence soon. DG, NOSDRA, Sir. Peter Idabor disclosed that his staff are expected to join other officials from Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the exercise.

These other officials, he disclosed are coming from the Federal Ministries of Environment, Finance, Petroleum resources among others, that will make-up support staff for the Hydro-carbon Pollution Remediation Programme (HYPREP), the implementing body of the clean-up exercise.

He further stated that the exercise will commence before the fourth quarter, adding that the HYPREP Board of Trustees (BoT) and Governing Council has been set up.
"NOSDRA has always been involved in clean-up of Ogoni-land. The former Environment Minister, Amina Mohammed was able to make due consultations with civil society organisations, host communities, ministries of finance, petroleum and they were to fine tune the gazette that setup the HYPREP

"In the past, the oil firms shell said they were not giving out the $1b because they claimed there were no transparency and governance structure. The initial gazette gave all the power to one person but they came in now and we have agreed.

"The BOT was setup and members were carefully selected from the stakeholders even the oil companies themselves and the Ogoni people to have balanced judgement. The governing council was setup. It has a bigger selection of individuals. Chairman of the council is the Minister of Environment.

"With that in place, they have gone ahead to setup that government structure and transparency required for the oil company to release the $1b that will be used in the first instance for the clean-up. The position for HYREP National Coordinator was advertised, people applied and interviewed. Luckily, the present national project coordinator was an Ogoni man."

According to him, "Everything is on ground but primarily, the role of NOSDRA as regulatory agency primarily is to ensure the project is well cleaned using our standard and international procedures."
Idabor urged the communities to support the clean-up to ensure its success.

He disclosed that about 1, 000 jobs will be created for women, youths through an empowerment scheme in order to meet their daily needs.
Idabor emphasised that during and beyond the clean-up which is expected to last for about 30 years, the communities should endeavour to stay clean.

Credit: Authority