By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA—Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, has called for transparency in the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, recommendations for the cleaning up of Ogoniland.
The group said there was an urgent need for the Federal Government to compel multi-national companies in the Niger Delta to repair, maintain and de-commission non-producing oil assets in the region, as a way of preventing further spills after the proposed clean-up exercise is completed.
CISLAC, which equally advocated the inclusion of Civil Society Organizations, CSOs, in the process, made the demand at an interactive session it held with top officials of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, in Abuja, yesterday.
It maintained that the implementation of the UNEP recommendations would require a multi-stakeholder coordinated effort and collaboration between FG, its agencies and Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, as operators of the joint venture.
“This is to ensure that it is not treated as a mere technical exercise, which may ultimately lead to failure.
“The clean-up of Ogoniland will have sustainable development components that will benefit the people. We are aware that SDPC is doing all within its powers to prevent further spills.
“You would, however, agree with CISLAC that pipelines installation network surveillance shows that there are still incidences of new spills,” the Executive Director of the group, Mallam Auwal Rafsanjani stated.
He urged the National Assembly to pass the pending NOSDRA amendment Act to further strengthen the establishment to effectively discharge its regulatory mandate with regards to the clean-up exercise.
“The current challenge as we can see today in Ogoni is an issue that calls for serious concern, but we commend the government for demonstrating political commitment towards ending what could have largely eclipsed human capital development in the region,” he added.