By Davies Iheamnachor
PORT HARCOURT— A rights group, Social Action, SA, has tasked the Hydrocarbon Remediation Pollution Project, HYPREP, to release the framework set out for the clean-up of the oil polluted Ogoniland, alleging that the agency lacked transparency.
SA also urged HYPREP to be transparent and accountable to people of Ogoni and Niger Delta, noting that the body (HYPREP) is a public institution and ought to be trusted.
Head, National Advocacy Centre of Social Action, Vivian Bellonwu, spoke in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday, after submitting a letter requesting information on Ogoni clean-up and project contracts to HYPREP.
Bellonwu said: “The framework for the clean-up is one of the documents that till date HYPREP has not made available to anybody and we are serious about it, because the project is more or less a work that has no plan.
“As I speak, nobody knows what is to be done, how it will be done and when. This is what they should make available so that people will follow the activities of the clean-up.
“By this we are challenging HYPREP to be accountable and transparent. HYPREP is a public institution and has public trust and the mandate of HYPREP is both important and sensitive.”
She expressed worry that the process in which HYPREP got contractors for clean-up was not transparent, adding that some of the contractors were not qualified for the project.
Bellonwu said: “Our concerns are on transparency and accountability of HYPREP. We are aware that HYPREP gave out a number of contracts for the cleaning of certain polluted areas of Ogoni environment.
“The procedures for awarding those contracts were not transparent. Some of the contractors are not qualified to be awarded the contracts.
“There is a whole lot of gap between the requirement set out by HYPREP itself and the company already engaged. We fear that this gap in the qualification of the contractors is some of the challenges that is affecting he activities of HYPREP and made the clean up not taken off as it were.”