By Michael Eboh
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Monday, disclosed that together with its Joint Venture, JV, partners, Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, Total Exploration and Production of Nigeria, TEPNG, and Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, it has disbursed $360 million for the clean up of Ogoniland.
In a statement in Abuja, the NNPC explained that the disbursement of the fund followed the recommendations of the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP.
Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, who stated this at the National Assembly, during a presentation to the House of Representatives Committee on Environment and Habitat, stated that funding was not a challenge to clean-up of Ogoniland.
Kyari, who was represented NNPC Chief Operating Officer, Upstream, Mr. Roland Ewubare, stressed that NNPC and its JV partners were up to date in their financial remittance to the clean-up project fund based on the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, framework.
He said, “Ogoni clean-up is a massive issue and NNPC and its JV partners are ready to fund the project as prescribed by the UNEP Report. We have so far disbursed $360 million out of the $900 million recommended. The disbursement was based on the standards set which required that we release funds based on the implementation parameters of the clean-up exercise.”
He noted that though NNPC and its JV partners were not responsible for the implementation of the clean-up, all stakeholders must come together to ensure that the project was carried out successfully.
Kyari added that the implementation of the clean-up was very important as the exercise would enable the restoration of land, water and the economic well-being of the people in the area.
He decried the misinformation about the Ogoniland clean-up and urged the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP, to ensure that the narrative was corrected for the effective implementation of the project.
A member of the House Committee who was a former Minister of Environment, Hon. Aishatu Jibrin Dukku, applauded the NNPC and its JV partners for their commitment to the Ogoni clean-up project and urged all other stakeholders to join hands with HYPREP to ensure the successful clean-up of the area.
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In his remarks, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Environment and Habitat, Hon. Johnson Oghuma, expressed the commitment of the current leadership to ensure full implementation of the UNEP Report on Ogoniland for the common good of the people of the area.
It would be recalled that the UNEP Report on Ogoniland clean-up had estimated an initial clean-up costs of over $1billion for the first five years of a 25 to 30-year process.