The Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committee on Ecology and Climate Change has charged the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) to increase its work pace in restoring the polluted Ogoni soil.
The lawmakers, following an oversight visit to polluted sites in Khana and Gokana local government areas of Rivers State on Wednesday, said most polluted portions scheduled for restoration within six months had yet to be completed after a year.
Leader of the delegation, Senator Hassan Mohammed, who spoke to journalists after inspecting the sites, expressed sadness over the pace of work, adding that the lawmakers’ visit would improve the work pace of the contractors.
He said, “I recommend that the contractors be serious because they were given six months to finish the job and most of them have been on site for a year and have not finished. They are giving excuses for their delay, which is not really obtainable.”
On his part, the HYPREP Coordinator, Dr Marvin Dekil, said host community agitations and weather were major contributors to the project’s pace.
“But so far, we have completed seven sites out of the 21 we started last year,” he said.
This project has also generated many jobs. About 700 persons were engaged in the first phase, another 800 in the second phase, plus the people in the office; over 2,000 persons.