Ogoni Clean-Up: Minister Hands Over Seven Completed Sites In Ogoniland
The Minister of Environment, Dr Mahmood Abuakar, has handed over seven completed remediated oil spill polluted sites in Ogoniland in Rivers State to the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) for scientific certification.
The sites are among the first 21 sites awarded to contractors by the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) for clean-up in Ogoniland.
The seven sites are Lots 2,5,6 and 8 in Eleme Local Govenrment Area; Lot 10 in Gokana Local Government Area; and Lots 17 and 18 in Tai Local Government Area.
The minister, while handing over the completed sites during a colourful ceremony, yesterday, in Nkeleoken-Alode community in Eleme Local Government Area, expressed delight that the contractors that handled the sites were able to complete them for onward handover to NOSDRA for certification, and thanked the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, for his support to the project.
He said after certification by NOSDRA, the sites would thereafter be handed over to President Muhammadu Buhari, who initiated the clean-up project in the first place.
Abubakar further thanked the people of the various communities in Ogoniland, particularly the youths for their cooperation and support to the clean-up project, stressing that the completion of the seven sites is a pointer to the fact that Buhari was determined to change the negative narratives of the people of the Niger Delta who have suffered over four decades of environmental pollution.
“It is a day of promise kept and kept to the letter in terms of standard and depth of work done”, he said, adding that, “a total of 208, 300 cubic metres of soil was treated from the seven lots using bio-remediation option, a method that is environmentally friendly and effective in removing pollutants from the soil.”
He said so far, progress has been made in the clean-up project but hinted that the Federal Ministry of Environment still yearns for more progress, as it does not want the clean-up to be done haphazardly.
“It is a project we want to ensure that it is done very well,” the minister said.
Abubakar further indicated that the clean-up project has created over 2,,000 direct jobs for Ogoni youths, stressing that the contractors would have completed their work earlier but for some factors that slowed down the pace of work.
“As a project, we would need your support and cooperation to achieve set goals, which goals are for the benefit of the Ogoni people,” he said, and appealed to host communities to the remediation sites to allow contractors to do their work without undue interference.
He said HYPREP is already training 1,200 Ogoni women in alternative livelihood skills in agro-allied ventures being handled by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNTIAR), adding that the first batch of 400 women drawn from the four Ogoni LGAs is ongoing.
He assured Ogoni people that “We will sustain progress on the clean-up of impacted sites and all other recommendations contained in the UNEP Report”.
On his part, the Project Coordinator of HYPREP, Dr Marvin Dekil, thanked the minister and the Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, and the community leaderships as well as staff of HYPREP for their support.
He said the minister’s commitment and input gave a new impetus to the clean-up project, “thus, making us come thus far on the project”, stressing that he (the minister) has left indelible marks on the project that can be copied for similar projects elsewhere.
He hinted that the bio-cell technology adopted for the clean-up of less impacted sites is a success that could be adopted for remediation elsewhere.
“In awarding the contracts for remediation, we factored in the training of community workers in basic remediation skills as a way of developing local manpower so that the skills acquired can be used elsewhere at the end of their contracts,” he said, adding that technical assistants for the project which constitute over 90 percent of the workforce are Ogoni young scientists were trained in Switzerland.
The minister and his entourage, before handing over the completed sites paid a courtesy visit to the King of Eleme Kingdom, Emere Philip Osaro Obele, who assured that Eleme people would give 110 per cent support to the clean-up project.
Among those on the minister’s entourage included the Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor; Director General of NOSDRA, Alhaji Idris O. Musa; the Cross River State Commissioner for Environment, Hon Mfon Bassey; and a host of other personalities.
Ikeazor, in a speech, urged HYPREP to engage more community people, and expressed joy that a reference laboratory to facilitate NOSDRA’s work is located in Port Harcourt, which she commissioned in January this year.
ISERAEL - NIGERIA i-FAIR 2020/21
“Transforming ideas into Inventions”
The Embassy of the State of Israel in Nigeria, in collaboration with the Government of Nigeria & partnership with Skill-G Nigeria Ltd, Gregory University Uturu (Abia State), and DeNovo-isreal Ltd are honored to introduce the i-FAIR
The i-FAIR has been created to raise a generation of innovators, inventors and researchers in Nigeria by offering them a platform to transform their brilliant ideas into innovative solutions and launch their entrepreneurial dreams in the following fields:
* Agriculture & Food security
* Renewable Energy/ Environment Management
* Food technology
* Medical Devices/Simulation
* Social Responsibility
Successful applicants are entitled to the following benefits, free of charge:
* A unique platform to transform ideas into inventions and develop working prototypes
* Free access and membership to a modern innovation center where they can work on and develop their ideas
* Access to a special certificate- course and mentoring by accomplished inventors, innovators and researchers from Nigeria and the State of Israel
* The opportunity to enter “Masschallenge Israel, 2021”
* The opportunity to pitch inventions and prototypes to investors for possible adoption, patronage and partnership
* An all-expense paid visit to the State of Israel, for inventors with the best prototypes and a chance for a Proof of Concept (POC) collaboration opportunity with leading Israeli companies (TBD)
Who Can Apply
Nigerian citizens over the age 21, with a minimum educational qualification of a bachelor’s degree from any field (preferably in the fields highlighted above) are encouraged to apply.
Duration and Deadlines
Applications are open and will be closed on October 31st, 2020. Afterwards, a team of experts will review the applications and select the best 50-100 ideas. The successful applicants will attend a three-day course from December 1st-3rd, 2020 at the Innovation Center in Abuja.
A team of experts from Israel and Nigeria will mentor/provide the successful applicants the tools necessary to develop their ideas into marketable products and prototypes. The grand finale where participants will make presentations of their prototypes to investors will be held between March 2nd-4th, 2021 at the Innovation Center in Abuja.
For additional information about the i-FAIR please visit: www.ifair-israelnigeria.comand for submission of an application please visit: https://www.ifair-israelnigeria.com/form-app/form.php
Experts Seek Mitigation Measures to Curb Climate Change Impacts
Environmentalists have called on the Federal Government to adopt fresh measures for the mitigation of climate change impacts in the post COVID-19 era.
They said Nigeria is plagued with diverse ecological problems that have been linked to climate change, hence, the need for action. According to them, the effect of climate change is making the environment warmer, dryer and conducive for pests and disease in the country.
The experts spoke at the 2020 International Virtual Conference of the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Pollution Mitigation SETPOM, themed: “Interconnectedness: Implications for Covid-19 and Environmental Concerns.”
Setting the tone for discussion, SETPOM President, Dr. Nnamdi Amaeze, who said the environment is rich in opportunities that can lead to employment of youths, called for its conservation and protection for generations unborn.
He said the conference is an opportunity for academics, industrialists, regulators, researchers and students to interact on environmental issues of local and global concerns.
Director and Chief Executive, Centre for Atmospheric Research, National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Prof. Babatunde Rabiu, said climate change has altered the natural hydrological calendar to the extent that life cycle of most insects and pests are no longer controlled or disrupted with the onset of rainfall.
In his keynote address, Prof. Rabiu said the inconsistency in rainfall pattern has strengthened the lifespan of those biological pests and resulted in the destruction of forest and agricultural crops.
“Rainfall is becoming unpredictable and decreasing on the average, which also differ significantly from 1971-2005,” he said.
Coastal region, Rabiu said, has experienced slightly increasing rainfall since the early 1970s and August break (short-dry-season) is currently being experienced more in July as against August in the Savannah ecology. He added, “the Southern ecological zone of Nigeria largely known for high rainfall is currently confronted by irregularity in the rainfall pattern.”
He further revealed that the Northern zone faces the threat of desert encroachment at a very fast rate per year, while coastal areas are becoming vulnerable to incessant floods, destruction of mangrove ecosystems and transmission of water borne diseases that lead to displacement and communal crisis.
Speaking on indoor air pollution, the Manager, Community Relations, Addax Petroleum, Julius Brown, said prior COVID-19, about 4.3 million people died yearly from exposure to indoor air pollutants, while COVID era is expected to increase the number.
His words: “Out of the number of exposure to household air pollutants, 34 per cent perish from stroke, 26 per cent died of heart disease, 22 per cent from, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, while pneumonia and lung cancer account for 12per cent and six per cent of the deaths respectively.
He stressed that women and young children, who spend most time at home, are more vulnerable as more than 50 per cent of pneumonia deaths among children under five years are linked to household air pollution.
To mitigate indoor air pollution, Brown called for avoidance of smoking indoors, keeping burning of fossil fuel outdoors and use of a dehumidifier and/or air conditioner to reduce moistures.
Honourable Minister of State Environment, Barr. Sharon Ikeazor, Remarks at The Virtual High-Level Launch GCA Africa Partnership Forum
Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen. All protocols observed.
I am delighted to be part of this launch for Africa’s journey towards climate change resilience.
It is worthwhile to state here that one of the cardinal objectives of this present administration is to tackle the issue of climate change as unveiled by President Buhari in his inauguration speech in 2015. In achieving this objective, Nigeria prepared its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in the same year it pledged to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission by 20% unconditionally and a further 45% with international support (conditional).
As you may all know, our NDC was submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention Climate Change (UNFCCC) at COP 21 in Paris in 2015. This led to the adoption of the Paris Agreement which has been domesticated and ratified by the country. Consequently, we have developed Sectoral Action Plans which include Agriculture, Power, Oil & Gas, Transport and Industry.
We have also made efforts with regards to Adaptation action by developing a National Adaptation framework. We submitted a Readiness Support Proposal to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to advance our National Adaptation Plans (NAPs). This was approved. Towards, generating domestic climate finance we have issued two Green Bonds. Adaptation projects are among those the Bonds fund.
More adaptation-oriented action include the approval of our climate change and gender action plan. We plan to carry out include Vulnerability Mapping & Assessment for Nigeria. The objective of the assessment is to identify vulnerabilities and fashion out appropriate adaptation strategies for them.
Alongside the work of my ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management & Social Development has been created by Mr. President to address emergencies that arise as a result of climate change impacts. We know there is room for improvement.
Once again, I wish to remind us all to use this platform to catalyze the much needed adaption action, chart and pursue a definite course for securing regional and global financial support for those actions for Africa.
Basically we expect AfDB/GCA can help the continent by providing technological and technical strengthening to countries. Of course alongside facilitating access to “means of implementation”. We are open to partner on improving and expanding our Green Bond instruments, gender and youth inclusion in climate action.
The AfDB/GCA can do the following for the continent;
* Enable countries do ecosystem valuation which gives a fiscal contribution of Adaptation projects and enable buy-in by governments and communities;
* enabling the development and establishment of sustainable carbon markets in the region;
* Provide national and regional platforms to build capacities to bridge the technology and financial gaps, to develop impactful adaptation projects;
* match-make country projects with available funding; among other.
I appreciate this opportunity to give a remark at this occasion.
Thank you. Merci beaucoup. Obrigado.
2020 WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY HELD ON THURSDAY, JUNE 4, 2020
The Honorable Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar
BRIEF HANDING OVER CEREMONY OF NEW PERMANENT SECRETARY IN THE FEDERAL MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT
Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Environment Mr Abel Olumuyiwa Enitan, Minister of State for Environment, Chief Mrs Sharon Ikeazor and Director of Planning, Research and Statistics of the Ministry Dr Bolatito Obisesan