Michel Olugbode

One thousand two hundred Ogoni women are to be trained in entrepreneurial skills as part of the ongoing Ogoniland clean-up project, Environment Minister Dr Mohammad Abubakar said.

The minister made the disclosure while discussing the achievements of the federal government in its efforts to clean up Ogoni land from oil spills and to stimulate its economy.

The minister, who delivered a press briefing in Abuja, said: “The Project Coordination Office (BCP) offered to train 1,200 Ogoni women in various entrepreneurial skills from the four LGAs of Ogoniland.

“The agro-industry skills training and empowerment program for 400 Ogoni women has been launched as an integral part of the initial Ogoni land clearing activities. “

He said the main objective is to present sustainable agriculture and agribusiness as alternative sources of income for women in the region.

Abubakar also revealed that a tripartite capacity building partnership between the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the Stakeholders Democracy Network (SDN) trained 15 young people from the four zones of local government of the Ogoni territory.

He noted that at the end of the three-month intensive training, the trainees made machines that were used to set up a cassava processing / manufacturing facility in Korokoro, Tai local government area and on July 14, 2020, the installation was commissioned.

The minister said that as part of the job creation of the Hydrocarbon Depollution Project (HYPREP), 882 young people from the community have been hired by first batch depollution contractors, while an additional 1,118 young people from the community are hired by depollution contractors from the second batch.

He said: “Therefore, to date, a total of 2,000 temporary jobs have been created during the remediation in the four LGAs of Ogoni territory, in addition to the many indirect jobs that are to be created in the form of remediation. ‘trade and support activities’.

To date, seventeen (17) lots have been completed by HYPREP, ten of which have been closed by the National Oil Spill Detection Agency (NOSDRA). Certification sampling of three lots for closure has been completed, while the other three are awaiting certification sampling for closure by NOSDRA. The remaining five that have yet to be completed by HYPREP are at various stages of completion.

Regarding the other areas of achievements in Ogoni land, the Minister declared: “Thirty-six (36) sanitation contracts include two Project activities namely soil remediation works (29 lots) and Level 2 (T -2) Evaluation of the groundwater works (7 lots) were awarded in February 2020. However, due to the global pandemic of the corona virus during the first and second quarters of 2020, the activities preceding the mobilization of these contractors on the sites were slowed down.

“However, to date, nine remediation lots have been completed awaiting NOSDRA certification and seven other contracts for a detailed quantitative environmental risk assessment to determine groundwater conditions at selected sites have been completed.”

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