THE federal government has re-engaged the United Nations Environmental Programme, UNEP, to provide technical support and ensure that the project remained executed in line with the UNEP recommendation.
Marvin Dekil, the project coordinator of HYPRE, according to a statement issued by Ekaete Umoh, its assistant director (Information), said the federal government re-engaged the UNEP for the next one year to work with HYPREP in all aspects of the project while also providing technical support in communication and project management.
Mike Cowing, the leader of the UNEP team, said the re-engagement of the UNEP team for the Ogoni clean-up further gives the assurance and the commitment of the federal government that the UNEP report must be implemented professionally.
Cowing said the team was on a one-week mission to carry out Training Needs Assessment for both technical and non-technical staff.
The Ogoni clean-up, he said, was a complex and challenging project, adding that the UNEP team would “deploy professionals to the project for the duration of the contract while providing training and capacity building for personnel within and outside Nigeria.”
The training, he continued, will expose staff to management techniques, procedures and how projects of this complexity can be planned and executed successfully.
He said the team will ensure strict compliance with the recommendations contained in its report on the clean-up of Ogoniland. Cowing stressed that UNEP will set up an office in Port Harcourt immediately after the Nigeria’s 2019 General Elections.
The HYPRE team led by Dekil, paid a courtesy visit on Bebe Okpabi, the paramount ruler of Ogale Community, Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State and King Godwin N.K. Gininwa, the Genemene of Tai.
Welcoming the UNEP team, Bebe expressed his appreciation to UNEP for their tenacity and the efforts put into the study that produced the report on Ogoni environmental challenges.
While thanking UNEP for coming back to provide support and ensure the project succeeds, he urged HYPREP to fast-track the processes for speedy implementation of the provision of potable water project for people in the impacted communities.
In his response, Dekil restated the commitment of the federal government to the Ogoniland clean-up, adding that the re-engagement of UNEP was to ensure that its recommendations as contained in the 2011 report were successfully implemented.
He said, “They are going to carry out high level training and I can assure you that the federal government’s commitment to the Ogoni clean-up is unwavering. We are soliciting the support of the youths, women and the entire community leadership to ensure the project is successful.”
Gininwa promised to ensure that Ogoniland remains peaceful all through the period of the clean-up and beyond.
“On our part, we assure you of peace and harmony throughout the clean-up and please ensure that HYPREP carries out your report to the letter”, he stated.
Gininwa also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for redeeming his campaign promise to the people of Ogoni.