Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachukwu, the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, revealed this on Wednesday in the first part of an 8-Part Series Podcast that focuses on the Niger Delta and security.
The Minister noted that the Ministry of Environment is working closely with his ministry to continue the exercise, thereby indicating the commitment of the President in ensuring the success of the project.
“The president is completely committed to the success of this. And we are working with the Ministry of Environment to continue the Ogoni clean up. The President has just directed that funds necessary for this must be released within a very short period of time so that this Ogoni clean up can actually move from the drawing board to actual practical reality. In fact, both the oil companies and NNPC to fund this sufficiently for us to move forward.” he said.
The minister noted that the ministry has started a Programme to engage Ogoni in order to ensure the community buy-in and participation when there is any problem.
According to him, the plan to make communities have faith in the government, is not restricted to Ogoni.
Following the realization from inter-agencies researches that challenges were still lingering in the Niger Delta even as over $40billion had been spent in the region in 15 years, the ministry is working with the Office of the Vice President, the Ministry of Niger Delta, Niger Delta Development Commission and the corporation to do more of capacity building and economic empowerment, he said.
The minister added that he has initiated technical committees in Edo, Delta and Imo States that are collaborating with the governors as the chairmen to look at the volume of oil available and produced in the states, the opportunities, economic empowerment and the burning issues in the states.
“If we succeed in doing that, for the first time, what we are going to have is a complete blueprint, complete local engagement, complete intervention and supervision of the Niger Delta Development module. And that is something that can be sustained for posterity.” he said
The minister added that the ministry has approved the establishment of 10 modular refineries out of which two have begun construction. Kachikwu said that the two that sited in Kwale, Delta State and Ogbere , Rivers State will start yielding results within one year.