THE Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) says it will train 1,000 youths in the Niger Delta area on conversion of fuel engine to Condensed Natural Gas (CNG).
NDDC Managing Director, Samuel Ogbuku, disclosed this in a statement by NDDC’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Mr Pius Ughakpoteni, on Monday in Abuja.
This is coming after he attended the Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Ogbuku stressed the need for a permanent solution to the environmental challenges faced by the Niger Delta region as a result of crude oil exploration and exploitation.
He expressed the commission’s determination to embrace clean energy sources as part of the solution to the global climate change challenge.
“We want to make Niger Delta the hub of engine conversion, where we can also be outsourcing to other parts of Nigeria.
“We want to take that bold initiative that is going to engage most of our youths because we also want to be involved in the whole green energy process,” he said.
The managing director said the commission decided to take the challenges and prospects of the Niger Delta region to the global conference, to elicit the right actions.
Ogbuku observed that there had been discussions on gas flaring, climate change and carbon emissions over the years with no substantial results.
“We have come to a point where we must take the right actions,” he said.
Ogbuku said that the NDDC, through its Environmental Protection and Control Directorate, had established a framework to ensure that all its development activities were green energy compliant.
He had earlier underlined the negative impact of climate change on the inhabitants of Nigeria’s oil basin, including forceful migration of many communities due to pollution, flooding and environmental degradation.
“The conference in Dubai gave us the opportunity to highlight our position on the climate change issue and seek partnerships and investments in renewable energy.
“We went there to tell our story as the people of the Niger Delta and to let the world know the impact of crude oil exploration and gas flaring on our environment.
“We believe that the Niger Delta region is the most affected in Nigeria by climate change.
“The impact of crude oil and gas exploration has eroded our environment and most of our communities have been deserted due to urban migration,” Ogbuku said.
He said that the NDDC team to COP28 in Dubai achieved a lot in terms of drawing global attention to the environmental challenges in the Niger Delta.
“We held discussions on partnerships with various organisations, including the National Council of Climate Change, in the area of tackling the issue of gas flaring,’’ he said.
The NDDC boss said that the commission was investing in solar power to light up communities in the Niger Delta region, it was expecting to recover carbon credits from the investments.
Ogbuku gave an insight into the commission’s plans for 2024 and beyond.
According to him, “we are preparing our 2024 budget and we will capture all these investment plans.
“They include a massive tree-planting campaign and the training of youths in renewable energy to prepare them for the future.” (NAN)
December 11, 2023 @ 17:38 GMT|Tags: Pius Ughakpoteni Samuel Ogbuku