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Legalbrief   |   your legal news hub Tuesday 29 September 2020

Nigeria lists oil spill clean-up successes

The Nigerian Federal Government said last week it is committed to cleaning up the hydrocarbon impact on communities in Ogoniland despite various challenges. According to a THISDAY report, Dr Marvin Dekil, the Project Co-ordinator, Hydrocarbon Pollution and Remediation Project (HYPREP), said this from the sidelines of the 2020 Ogoni Day celebration in Bori, Rivers. HYPREP, under the Federal Ministry of Environment has the mandate to clean up decades-long oil spills in four Ogoni local government areas in Rivers such as Eleme, Gokana, Khana and Tai. Dekil said that in spite of government's commitment to the project, the remediation exercise was hampered by land disputes, leadership tussles and communal clashes. ‘We ask that HYPREP be spared land and chieftaincy disputes as we do not have an interest in such matters,’ he said. ‘Our efforts to clean Ogoniland will amount to nothing if after investing so much resources and time it is again re-polluted by activities of illegal bunkers and refiners,’ he warned. The project co-ordinator said in spite of the challenges, the remediation agency recorded several successes in 2019. Among these were the mobilisation of contractors to the 21 remediation sites in the areas, employment of 24 indigent-Ogoni graduates, creation of job opportunities and skills acquisitions. Others include the agreement on rehabilitation of moribund Rivers State Water facilities in Ogoniland and use of the state's facilities to conduct Health Impact study in the areas. ‘At most of the sites, contractors are excavating and treating contaminated soils, while some have even completed the process of excavation and are back filling treated soils,’ he noted, expressing hope for a constructive year in 2020.