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HYPEP to prioritize youths in Ogoni clean-up

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HYPEP to prioritize youths in Ogoni clean-up

Nelson Chidiebere

The Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP, has assured that it would give priority attention to youths of Ogoni by creating more job opportunities, training, and skills acquisition programmes in the ongoing environmental cleanup in the area, adding that such would make the project more human-centred and inclusive.

HYPREP also disclosed that the Project is building the capacity of Ogoni youths in different areas, such as training in aviation, oil and gas, agro services, shoreline remediation, and mangrove restoration, with plans for professional skills to cater for graduates from impacted Ogoni communities.

The Project Coordinator of HYPREP, Prof Nenibarini Zabbey, spoke during an interactive session with Ogoni youths in Port Harcourt. Zabbey noted that over 5000 youths and women are undergoing different skills training and that more opportunities would be created for the youths in the remediation exercise.

He said: “As we speak, we are training 5000 youths and women in 20 different skill areas and that training is going well and the feedback we are getting from the field is very encouraging. We are committed to ensuring that the clean-up benefits the youths of Ogoni as much as possible and by the end of the training, a critical mass of the youths will have the requisite skills not just to work in Ogoni but to be able to work elsewhere.

“We have also discovered key skills to support the oil and gas industry including commercial diving and underwater welding; all that has been articulated and we are going to present them to the Governing Council for consideration and approval so we are serious about the issue of livelihood.

“Apart from restoring the environment, HYPREP is also in Ogoni to restore livelihoods and create alternative livelihood opportunities. We are also building capacity, apart from the 5,000 youths that are undergoing our training, we are also building the capacity of Ogoni youths in different skill areas, we have trained 90 youths and women in mangrove restoration and we have empowered them with catalytic funds to set up their mangrove nurseries, which they are growing along Bomu shoreline.

“For our remediation works, on the 39 medium risks remediation sites, we trained over 2000 Ogoni youths who are supporting the remediation process, so all these trainings are useful because they are hands-on training.

“For the Centre of Excellence, the contractor, CCECC has told us that in the course of constructing that centre, about 800 Ogoni youths would be engaged. In Tai, we are building a 100-bed Specialist Hospital in Kpite and the construction is going to provide jobs for many persons, so despite where our projects are located, every part of Ogoni is included in our selection of workers and in all opportunities that are available in the project.”

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