The Minister of Environment, Honourable Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, has yesterday 20th July 2020 commissioned a garri processing factory in Korokoro Community in Rivers State. The factory is one of the manifest successes of the Federal Government’s Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP established to provide lasting remedy to the pollution problem confronting Ogoniland and other Niger Delta areas. The programme strategises several practical approach to the Ogoni Cleanup and ensures that the youth of the areas are trained in economic activities that will be relevant to the communities and still earn them sustainable income. In line with this, a further 1200 Ogoni women have been trained in four agro businesses. The Minister, who was represented by the Programme Coordinator of HYPREP, Marvin Barinem Dekil, the factory can produce about five tonnes of garri daily.
HYPREP is a collaboration of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), and Stakeholder Democracy Network (SDN).
The Minister said that the factory is a sustainability plan for training and empowering the Ogoni youths with economic skills to improve their livelihood while supporting the restructuring of their hitherto disrupted local economy.
The honourable Minister said, “Today is the continuation of that success story with the official commissioning of the cassava processing factory which after a three-month supervisory running of the factory by the IITA and SDN, would be completely handed over for the direct running by our pioneer fifteen graduates from the IITA.
“This factory is the sustainability package for the training which we promised that will enable you put to use the skills you have acquired for your benefit and that of your dependents.
HYPREP has developed a plan to group the operators of the factory being the Ogoni youths into cooperatives to enable them access funds to set up their own businesses, engage and train more youths.”””
He commended IITA and SDN, saying that HYPREP has developed a plan to group the youths who would operate the factory into cooperatives in order to help them access necessary funds to set up their own business ventures.
The president had from the beginning of his administration, made known his desire to have the youth contribute substantially to the economic diversification of the country. This success will serve as an inspiration to all Nigerian youths to look to self-employment through innovative strategies that will contribute to the needs of their communities while enabling them earn sustainable income.