The Federal Government has kicked off the connection of Ogoniland to the national grid, a mega power project in the area. The power project, which is an initiative of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, in addition to an Ogoni Specialist Hospital, would serve as a major boost to the ongoing clean up exercise.
The Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, said the two mega projects which were not a part of the UNEP Report, are a boost and extra to the deliverables of HYPREP to the people of Ogoniland.
Abdullahi during stakeholder’s sensitization and engagement forum in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers state, formally informed the Ogoni people of the new rolled out plans which, according to him, have already been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The minister represented by the Coordinator of HYPREP, Dr. Ferdinand Giadom, appealed to communities in Ogoniland not to use unnecessary communal disputes, chieftaincy tussles and petitions to disrupt or delay the projects.
He explained that the power project will help in sustaining HYPREP’s water projects and improve the economy of Ogoniland, while also pleading for the co-operation of the people to ensure a smooth take off and construction of the mega power projects.
“May I inform you that the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari has given approval for the take-off of the power project. The engineering drawing for the power project is ready and by that design, power will be evacuated from the 132KV line sub-station in Ebubu, Eleme to Wiyaakara in Khana and another 132 KV line to Bodo in Gokana. From these two points we shall further distribute the 33 KV to the communities of Ogoni.
“Due to the volume of work involved, we have planned the construction into two phases. The Ogoni Power Project being an addition to the Ogoni Specialist Hospital, both of which are not so spelt out in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Report but which we conceptualized as a boost and extra to the deliverables of HYPREP to the people of Ogoniland.“As a boost, the power project will provide sustainability to our water schemes, the livelihood training, the operationalization of the Centre of Excellence in Environmental Restoration, the Ogoni Specialist Hospital; and as extra, it now has the approval of the Governing Council to be included in the deliverables of the project”.The event which had in attendance traditional rulers, political dignitaries, Non-Governmental Organizations, stakeholders as well as women and youths from the four local government area which made up Ogoni Kingdom, Eleme, Tai, Gokhana, Khana commended the HYPREP team for deeming it fit to connect Ogoniland to the national, despite not being a part of the UNEP Report.Chairman of Supreme Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers and Gbenemene of Tai Kingdom, King Godwin Giniwa, pleaded with youths in Ogoniland not to vandalize the power project during or after construction, just as he appealed to HYPREP not to overlook the Ogoni youths when it comes to job recruitments.Also, a former lawmaker, Senator Bennett Birabi, also acknowledged the work done so far by the federal government in Ogoniland, as he gives credit to the HYPREP for churning out the new initiative.