June 19, 2024

HYPREP set up Technical Planning Committee for CEER

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Ilenre Irele

The Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP, has inaugurated a Technical Planning Committee to plan and design the operational framework for the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Restoration, CEER, as well as advised on the core curricula framework of the Centre.

CEER, as recommended by UNEP, is expected to be a premier institution for the science and art of environmental remediation and restoration, a hub of cutting-edge research, education, and practical solutions that will guide and inspire efforts in environmental restoration in the Niger Delta, Nigeria and around the world.

Inaugurating the Technical Planning Committee, the Project Coordinator of HYPREP, Prof Nenibarini Zabbey, said the CEER which occupies 29 hectares of land in Wiiyaakara-Bori, was already at 54 percent completion and will be a focal point for knowledge in addressing immediate environmental concerns and contributes to the global body of knowledge on remediation.

The 13-man Committee is headed by a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Don Baridam, while members include Prof Ndowa Lale, Prof Joseph Ajienka, Prof Chidi Ibe, Prof Ibby Kakulu, Prof. Roselyn Koinya, Prof Ben Naanen, Prof Desmond Nbete, Dr Evidence Ep-Aabari, Prof Barineme Fake, Gbene Joi Nunieh, Prof Nwaichi Eucharia, and Prof Ibisime Etela as Secretary.

Zabbey said the Federal Government, through HYPREP, envisions the Centre bringing together a cohort of expert bodies of knowledge in environmental and socio-economic sciences to safeguard the environment and the people’s social, economic, and physical health and well-being.

“By developing innovative, cost-effective, and sustainable technologies and solutions that reduce the impact of pollutants on the environment, the CEER will serve as a focal point for knowledge management, with the overall goal being the ability to capture new knowledge and standardize scientific processes and deploy best practices from inside and outside of the business area.”

The HYPREP boss emphasized that the Technical Planning Committee’s work remains fundamental in turning the CEER vision into reality and charged the Committee to bear in mind the expectations of the Ogoni people on the Project, as they approach the task with diligence, creativity, and collaboration.

“Over the next six months, you are tasked with an essential mission: to meticulously plan and design the operational framework of the Centre, ensuring that it is equipped to meet the highest standards of excellence and effectiveness with international linkages and partnerships. The committee will also advise on the core curricula framework of the CEER.

“Your report and recommendations, which will be submitted to the Governing Council of HYPREP for consideration upon completion of your work, would serve as the foundational blueprint for the operationalization of the Centre, guiding its structure, focus areas, strategic direction, and sustainability.

“In carrying out this important task, we must keep in mind the expectations of the Ogoni community. To the community, establishing this Centre is not just a scientific or academic endeavour; it is seen as a community-centric initiative for local job creation, knowledge acquisition, and development. This is why the centre has a faculty of vocational skills acquisition.”

Speaking after the inauguration, the Chairman of CEER Technical Planning Committee, Prof Don Baridam, represented by a member of the Committee, Prof Barineme Fakae, expressed optimism that the Centre would be a legacy project.

“The Centre of Excellence for Environmental Remediation is one of the recommendations of UNEP. It is actually a legacy project that even at the expiration of what we’re doing, that Centre will stand as a testimony for the work that has been done, and because of that, it is a tall order for the Committee to perform and to advised in those areas.

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