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Buhari flags off power project in Ogoni, says he’s delivered on remediation promise

PRESIDENT BUHARI VIRTUAL FLAG-OFF OF OGONI LAND PROJECT AA. President Muhammadu Buhari during the Virtual Flag-off ceremony of Infrastructure project for Ogoni Land, State House Abuja PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. APRIL 28TH 2023

President Muhammadu Buhari has flagged off the construction of the Ogoni power project in Rivers state.

In a statement by Garba Shehu, the president’s spokesperson, Buhari said the project would bring about socio-economic development, job opportunities and entrepreneurial growth in the area.

The President also performed the groundbreaking of the centre of excellence for environmental restoration and the Ogoni 100 bed specialist hospital.

Buhari, who joined the event virtually was physically represented by Mohammed Abdullahi, minister of environment.

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He said upon completion, the specialist hospital would  bring succour to those who have been exposed to environmental pollution in the community.

He also said the centre of excellence would provide capacity and research opportunities to scholars within Nigeria and around the world on environmental remediation.

‘‘It will initiate studies on home grown methods and approaches to addressing oil pollution in the Niger Delta and other parts of the country, to Sub-Saharan Africa ,” Shehu quoted Buhari as saying.

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‘‘It is instructive to know that Ogoni clean-up is not the only project being undertaken by this administration to give the people a sense of belonging in national affairs.

‘‘This administration is constructing the Bodo/Bonny Road — a multi-billion-naira project to provide a link road to Bonny Island — host to the Nigerian liquefied natural gas plant.

‘‘This all-important economic road passes through the heart of Ogoniland and the benefits it will bring to the local economy will be considerable.”

The President said he has delivered on his promise to commence the cleanup of Ogoni polluted environment which be made at the start of his administration.

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He added that his regime has seen to the progressive implementation of several critical projects that have had impact on the livelihoods of the Ogoni people

‘‘Today is special and dear to me as it reminds me of the promise I made to the Ogoni people when I came here to campaign in 2015 for the presidential election that saw my emergence as the president of our great nation, Nigeria,” he continued.

‘‘I pledged to implement the United Nations environment programme report on the environmental assessment of Ogoniland which was submitted to the federal government four years earlier if elected as the president.

‘‘It was a solemn pledge to my fellow citizens of Ogoni that deserves urgent economic, social and infrastructural intervention required for a decent living.

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‘‘That assurance was redeemed on 2nd June 2016 when I flagged off the Ogoniland clean-up project at the Patrick waterfront in Bodo, Gokana local government area.

‘‘The hydrocarbon pollution remediation project was established to oversee the operations of the clean-up as well as the constitution of the governing council, the board of  trustees, and the project coordination office to coordinate its implementation.

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“I am glad the implementation is progressing as evident in several critical awarded projects that impact on the livelihoods of the Ogoni people.”

He assured that contracts have been approved for the next phase of remediation of sites, the training of 5,000 Ogoni people in sustainable livelihood skills and the engagement of 500 youths as environmental vanguards.

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