One thousand, two hundred Ogoni women are to be trained in entrepreneurial skills in the ongoing Ogoniland Clean-up Project, the Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar has said.
The Minister made this disclosure while reeling out the achievements of the Federal Government in it’s efforts to clean-up Ogoni land of oil spillages and to boost it’s economy.
The Minister, who address a press briefing in Abuja, said: “The Project Coordination Office (PCO) proposed to train 1,200 Ogoni women in various entrepreneurial skills from the four LGAs of Ogoniland.
“The Agribusiness Skill Training and Empowerment Programme for 400 Ogoni women was initiated as an integral part of the front-end activities of the clean-up of Ogoni land.”
He said the primary objective is aimed at presenting sustainable agriculture and agribusiness as alternative sources of livelihood for women in the area.
Abubakar also disclosed that a tripartite capacity building partnership between the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the Stakeholders Democracy Network (SDN) trained 15 youths from the four local government areas of Ogoni land.
He noted that at the end of the three months intensive training, the trainees fabricated machines which were used in setting up a Cassava Processing/Fabrication Facility at Korokoro, Tai local government area and On 14th July 2020, the facility was commissioned.
The Minister said as part of the employment creation drive of Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), 882 community youths have been engaged by Batch 1 remediation contractors, while additional 1118 community youths are being engaged by Batch 2 remediation contractors.
He said, “Therefore, as at today, a total of 2000 temporal jobs were created in the course of remediation across the four LGAs of Ogoni land besides the numerous indirect jobs that are to be created in the form of trading and support activities.”
As at today, Seventeen (17) Lots have been completed by HYPREP, out of which ten have been closed-out by National Oil Spill Detection Agency (NOSDRA). Certification sampling of three Lots for close-out has been completed, while the other three are awaiting certification sampling for close-out by NOSDRA. The remaining five which are yet to be completed by HYPREP are at various stages of completion.
On the other areas of achievements in Ogoni land, the Minister said: “Thirty-Six (36) remediation contracts comprise of two Project activities namely soil remediation works (29 lots) and Tier 2 (T-2) Assessment of groundwater works (7 lots) were awarded in February 2020. However, due to the global corona virus pandemic in the first and second quarters of 2020, activities preceding mobilization of these contractors to sites were slowed down.
“However, as at today, nine remediation lots have been completed and are awaiting NOSDRA certification and seven other contracts for detail quantitative environmental risk assessment to determine ground water conditions in some selected sites were completed.”