President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, explained that the current Ogoni clean up will span an expected total of 20 years.
The President made this known when he inaugurated the Governing Council and the Board of Trustees of the Trust Fund for the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project for the Implementation of the UNEP Report at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He broke down the time it will take to clean-up the area that has suffered significant environmental damage in the last few decades.
The President said, “The clean-up exercise is expected to go on for two decades. The first five years will address emergency response measures and remediation while the subsequent years will look to restore the ecosystems in the Niger Delta.
“The governance framework we lay today, following extensive consultations, will form the bedrock for sustainability for years to come.
“Together we will be able to transform what is today a tragic tale of desolation and destruction to one of restoration and opportunity for the coming generations. The expertise and technology exist to make this a reality.
“In the end, this project will serve as the ‘gold standard’ for the clean-up of similar pollution in other parts of the Niger Delta, and the world at large.”
He called on the public to work with government in ensuring the protection of the project and the persons carrying it out.
“Since the time of flag-off, considerable effort has been expended to create a robust mechanism for implementing the project in the long term.
“The Governing Council and the Board of Trustees, which are being inaugurated today (Thursday), jointly form an essential part of the governance framework.
“In addition to the management and administration structure, other systems and controls are being put in place to ensure that the funds devoted to this project are used only for the intended purpose.”