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FG discovers 11 soot sources in Rivers

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• 3rd anniversary’ll announce state as distinct –Wike

Tony John, Port Harcourt

Federal Government said it has identified 11 sources of the soot being experienced in Rivers State, and is working out plans to eliminate the dreaded air pollution.

Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jibril, made the disclosure yesterday, when he spoke at Terabor/ Gokana Local Government Area of the state, while inspecting the ongoing medical outreach organised by the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP).

Jibril said he had a joint meeting on the soot with stakeholders in the state, organise by National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), in Port Harcourt.

He said the ministry would work with relevant stakeholders, both in the state and federal, to eradicate soot from Rivers and its environs.

He said: “The federal government plans to eliminate the soot by taking concerted actions, and we have identified 11 sources which are causing the soot. And, having identified them, we have to tackle them.

“In the meeting we just had, we have set up an inter-administerial committee, a standing one, not ad-hoc, and everybody who needed to be involved must be involved, the state ministries of Environment, Health, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

“Others to be involved are the federal ministries of Health and Environment as well as the security agencies, so that together, we put our heads and make sure  since we are aware of what was going on, we will now attack the issue from the bottom, and make sure the root cause is eliminated,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, Governor Nyesom Wike has said the roll-out of key projects during his administration’s third year anniversary will announce Rivers as a distinct state, despite the current economic downturn. 

Wike, who said this yesterday, when he addressed journalists after projects inspection, expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done at the Mother and Child Hospital, Doctors Quarters at the Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital, as well as the National Industrial Court. 

He said: “We are glad, that during our third anniversary, the public will really appreciate that Rivers is a different state, despite the economic downturn. 

“We assure our people we will continue to give them the best, as far as projects are concerned. This administration is for them.”

The governor further said although works at Mother and Child Hospital, Doctors Quarters at the Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital and National Industrial Court have reached 95 percent completion stage, the state government has finished paying the contractors. 

“We agreed with the contractors that these projects visited today, should be part of our third year anniversary celebrations. They will be commissioned and placed for  public use,” he said.

Speaking on the re-equipping of Braithwaite hospital, Wike said the state government has re-positioned the health facilities to use it as a teaching hospital for the Rivers State University. 

He said his administration established the College of Medical Sciences at the state university to train doctors who would drive the health sector. 

He was accompanied on the project inspection by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Godwin Obla.

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