ABUJA—In its determination towards ensuring the success of Ogoniland Clean-up project, the Federal Government has established the HYPREP Central Representative Advisory Committee, CRAC.
The Committee according to the Minister of Environment, Mr Suleiman Zarma, was expected to serve as an inclusive and multi-faceted approach to the Ogoniland clean-up, with a clear mandate to act as a bridge between stakeholders, communities, groups, and the Hydrocarbon Pollution and Remediation Project, HYPREP on all issues relating to successful project execution.
Zama, while inaugurating the Committee, yesterday in Abuja, said in setting up HYPREP the federal government was careful to note that in the process of executing the clean-up project, there may arise issues from several areas that would require solution.
The Minister pointed out that it was in consideration of the fact that it was embedded in the HYPREP Gazette the establishment of Central Representatives Advisory Committee, CRAC.
He said: ”Your nomination to serve in the committee is another level provided for you to continue in the pursuit of the restoration of Ogoniland. It is also a result of the trust your people have in you to be a true representative and to help guide HYPREP and the Federal Government by extension to resolve issues that may arise without bias and without resorting to litigation.”
The Minister expressed the belief that as grassroots people, their interface between the communities and HYPREP on thorny issues arising from the clean-up project will in no small measure help build a peaceful and secure environment for the successful implementation of the clean-up of Ogoniland.
In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote charged the CRAC members to be guided by the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to the timely restoration of aquatic and environmental life in Ogoniland and called for “the urgency of the assignment, and hit the ground running as you move to carry out this important national duty”.
Speaking on behalf of members of the committee, the inaugurated Chairman and Project Coordinator of HYPREP, Dr. Marvin Decal, thanked the Minister for the confidence reposed on the members and assured that they will bring their wealth of experience to bear in the assignment.
He said, “It is a special day because HYPREP from today has a voice that can speak and be heard in the Ogoni Communities.”
Speaking on behalf of the Ogoniland Council of Traditional Rulers, HRH, Sir Samuel L.A. Nnee, the Gbenemene Tua-Tua and paramount Ruler of Kpite, Tai, who is also a member of the committee, assured that with the inauguration of the committee, “there will be peace in Ogoniland henceforth.”
He said: “We have been following with satisfaction the progress being made on the Ogoniland clean-up exercise. We are happy with what is going on and henceforth, there would be peace.”