The Minister of Environment, Suleiman Hassan Zarma, has disclosed that the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) Central Representative Advisory Committee (CRAC) would heighten efforts towards the restoration of Ogoniland and other areas impacted by oil pollution in the Niger Delta.
He disclosed this in Abuja yesterday while inaugurating a 10 – member committee made up of HYPREP project coordinator, Mr Marvin Dekil as its chairman, with representatives of the Rivers State government, international oil companies (IOCs), civil society organisations, traditional rulers and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).
Leadershipng reports that they are expected to mediate, counsel, advice, reconcile and recommend appropriate actions where applicable with the impacted communities, stakeholders and Rivers State government to ensure a hitch-free clean-up exercise.
Zarma noted that the decision to nominate members of the committee was borne out of trust and to assist the federal government in resolving issues that might arise during the exercise without resorting to litigation. He was optimistic that their interface between the communities and HYPREP would help to build a peaceful and secure environment for the successful implementation of the clean-up of Ogoniland.
Zarma said that the establishment of CRAC was embedded in the HYPREP Gazette, noting that in setting up HYPREP office that federal government envisaged that several issues that would require urgent resolution might arise during the clean-up exercise.
On her part, the permanent secretary in the ministry, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote, appealed to members to be guided by the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari for timely restoration of aquatic and environmental life in Ogoniland.
Responding on behalf of the committee, the project coordinator of HYPREP, Dr. Marvin Dekil, appreciated the minister for the confidence reposed on the members and assured that they would carry out their duties diligently.
Dekil, who is also the chairman of the committee was excited that HYPREP now has a voice that would speak and be heard in Ogoni Communities.