Apparently burdened by the oil pollution nightmare in the Niger Delta, Nigeria’s main oil and gas region, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the Federal Government is determined to lead the way in the improvement of the environment.
He spoke during his commissioning of the $8.00 million, around N2.9 billion Port Harcourt Dockyard Liquid Waste Management Treatment Plant constructed by African Circle Pollution Management Limited in Rivers State.
While insisting that the commissioning was another opportunity for Nigeria to lead the way in the improvement of the environment, Osinbajo said the project was in line with the Build Operate and Transfer Agreement between African Circle and the Federal Government.
He said the agreement is for a period of 20 years and that Africa Circle has by the completion of the facility, executed a good part of the agreement.
According to him, the Federal Government will continue its partnership with the company for the promotion of environmental protection and sanitation, pointing out that Abuja’s ease of doing business policy will be diligently pursued.
While Osinbajo noted that the dredging of Warri Port was on course with a railway line into the hinterland, his host, Governor Nyesom Wike called on him to prevail on the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to work with the state government to create the right environment for the development of Rivers.
The People Democratic Party (PDP) governor also called for the dredging of the Rivers Port waterway to increase economic activities at the port, which will generate more employment. He, however, regretted that NPA has allegedly not been good neighbours to the government.
He informed Osinbajo that NPA entered into an agreement with the state government to construct the Industry Road leading to the Port facility, but the federal agency allegedly reneged on its commitment.
‘’I want to report NPA to Mr. Vice President. They have not been good neighbours. We entered into an agreement to fund the construction of the Industry Road leading to the Port. NPA reneged and the state government had to fund the project single-handedly.
‘’Till date, NPA has not paid its counterpart fund for the construction of that road. All they are interested in, is to collect rents from the occupants of the Port’’, Governor Wike said and accordingly urged NPA to actualise the dredging of Rivers Port.
Adding, he said, ‘’the port here has to be dredged. Without the dredging of the waterway to this port, employment cannot be generated. I call on NPA to work for the dredging of the waterway’’, promising to support the waste treatment company to create employment opportunities for Rivers people.
As the governor commended the company for cleaning up the environment and Rivers waterway through the facility, the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Transportation, Sabiu Zakari said government will give the company all the necessary support in the spirit of ease of doing business policy.
Former Ogun State Governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba explained that the facility will collect oil waste and transform them into meaningful by-product, pointing out that the company invested $8.00 million in the facility which he said will help to clean up the maritime industry.
On his part, former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar said that the company is a necessary addition to the maritime sector.