As part of HYPREP’s strategic measures to sustain the gains and quantum of data garnered over the years from the Clean-up Project through the establishment of the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Restoration (CEER), a 13-man Technical Planning Committee has been inaugurated to see to the actualization of the vision and intendment of the Centre in line with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Assessment Report on Ogoniland.

Inaugurating the Committee last Friday at the Project Coordination Office, the Project Coordinator of HYPREP, Professor Nenibarini Zabbey, noted that part of its calls is to recommend the necessary institutional and legal frameworks that will bring to reality the vision of the CEER, adding that the Centre will be a repository of the science and art of environmental remediation and restoration, a hub for cutting-edge efforts in environmental restoration.

The Committee which is made up of very seasoned academics and administrators is chaired by Professor Don Baridam, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt. Members of the Committee include Prof. Roseline Konya (Former Commissioner of Environment, Rivers State), Prof.Joseph Ajienka (Former Vice Chancellor of Uniport), Prof. Ndowa Lale ( Former Vice Chancellor of Uniport), Prof. B.B Fakae (Former Vice Chancellor of the Rivers State University) and Prof.Ben Naanen ( Former President of MOSOP). Also on the Committee are, Prof. Ibby Kakulu, Prof. Chidi Ibe, Prof. Desmond Nbete, Prof. Nwaichi Eucharia Oluchi, Dr Evidence Ep-aabari, and Gbene Joi Nunieh while Prof. Ibisimi Etela, the Officer Overseeing the CEER will serve as the Secretary.

Prof Don Baridam, who was represented by Prof B.B Fakae, assured the Project Coordinator of the committee’s commitment to diligently carry out the task as they align with the Project’s vision of making the Centre a reality.

The Committee has six (6) months to submit its report. The CEER is at 54% completion. The Centre occupies twenty-nine (29) hectares of land in Wiiyaakara, Khana LGA. Barely six months after the commencement of construction works, the center’s landscape is already dotted with the blocks of hostels, classrooms, clinics, libraries, canteen, faculty building, security quarter, gatehouses and staff quarters. Over 600 youths are working at the CEER site and an estimated 1,000 will be engaged in the course of the project’s duration.

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