May 12, 2022

HYPREP boss charges workers’ welfare minister… as FG moves to link Ogoni communities to national grid

The Coordinator of the Oil Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), Dr Ferdinand Giadom, has urged the new Environment Minister, Lawyer Mohammed Abdullahi, to ensure that the welfare of workers in the project is the absolute priority in order to motivate them.
It was even then that the federal government promised to connect key Ogoniland communities in Rivers State to the national grid to supply ongoing water projects in the region.
Giadom, who made the call to the HYPREP office in Port Harcourt during the Minister’s first visit recently, said there was a need to give adequate attention to the welfare of HYPREP staff in due to its policy of mild adjustment of civil service rules with regard to expediting the implementation of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) report on Ogoniland.
According to him, he had adjusted the rules so that workers now return to work at 7 a.m. instead of the traditional 8 a.m., while they close work after 5 p.m.
Giadom said that with this development, workers are supposed to receive additional tokens as overtime pay to really encourage and motivate them.
He therefore urged the Minister not to hesitate to give his approvals whenever requests from his cabinet were sent to him to this effect.
The project coordinator explained that the minor adjustment to civil service rules was aimed at enabling his office to timely execute the clean-up project, which he said had suffered undue delays in the past.
Abdullahi, while addressing the workers, said the federal government has taken steps to connect major communities in Ogoniland to the national grid to provide regular power supply to ongoing government-provided water projects in the region in order to support them and stimulate economic activities. .
He said that within days, the project coordinator would put in place the necessary framework for the federal government to connect communities to the national grid.
Abdullahi noted that President Muhammadu Buhari is not happy with the slow progress of the Ogoni cleanup project, which is why he approved the appointment of a new project coordinator for HYPREP, and also appointed him minister of health. ‘Environment to speed up the procedure. implementation of the UNEP report.
According to him, the president wants to see a situation where the cleanup project and other ongoing water projects in Ogoniland are commissioned before he leaves office on May 29, 2023.
Abdullahi stressed the need for stakeholder engagement and collaboration in the implementation of the UNEP report, and called for the support and commitment of workers and all Ogoni to the cleanup project.
The Minister, during his visit, paid courtesy visits to the Chairman of the Supreme Council of Ogoni and Gbenemene Tai Traditional Rulers, King Godwin Giniwa; the Gberemene Gokana, King Festus Babari Bagia; the kingdom of Gbeneme Babbe, King Monday Noryaa; and the Oneh-eh Eleme X1, King Philip Obele.
Abdullahi also inspected some sanitation sites in B-Dere community in Gokana and others in Tai, as well as water project sites in Gokana and Khana local government areas.
The minister, during a stakeholder meeting in Bori, the seat of Khana Local Government Area, assured the Ogoni people that the federal government would always give them fair treatment, especially when it comes to implementation of the UNEP report.
He said all monies and funds approved for the cleanup project must be accounted for and assured that Ogoni women and youth would be adequately supported in terms of employment and contract enforcement.
Abdullahi was accompanied during the visit by the President’s Senior Special Assistant for Public Affairs, Mr. Ajuri Ngalele; among other personalities.

Abdullahi also inspected some sanitation sites at B-Dere community in Gokana and others at Tai water project sites in Gokana and Khana local government areas.
The minister, during a stakeholder meeting in Bori, the seat of Khana Local Government Area, assured the Ogoni people that the federal government would always give them fair treatment, especially when it comes to implementation of the UNEP report.
He said all monies and funds approved for the cleanup project must be accounted for and assured that Ogoni women and youth would be adequately supported in terms of employment and contract enforcement.
Abdullahi was accompanied during the visit by the President’s Senior Special Assistant for Public Affairs, Mr. Ajuri Ngalele; among other personalities.

By: Donat Ebi