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$1bn Ogoni clean-up: FG stalls release of fund, says SPDC, NOSDRA

by KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja

July 2, 2014 | 4:26 pm
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niger_delta_oilspillManagement of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) Wednesday accused the federal government of frustrating the release of funds for the implementation of the 2011 UN report for the clean-up of Ogoni land.
 
Augustine Iguku, Ogoni Restoration Project Manager for SPDC stated this at the stakeholders’ meeting held at the instance of House Committee on Environment chaired by Uche Ekwunife.
 
Igbuku who expressed the readiness of the company towards releasing its counterpart funding to the $1 billion Ogoni Restoration Fund, blamed Federal Government for failing to provide the legal framework for the adhoc intervention agency (Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project) set up by the government.

He also blamed Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources for failing to provide work plan for the proposed clean-up and the utilization of the funds.

Igbuku also blamed the take-off of the clean-up exercise on oil bunkering and illegal refineries, noted that “there were 47 breaks in the pipeline. We did 50 clean ups. People are still breaking the pipes in spite of the local contractors that we employed to safeguard them.”

Also speaking, Peter Idabor, Director General of National OPil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) said not much has been done in terms of the implementation.

“We are not aware of the emergency measures that DPR said they have done,” he said.

While reacting to the allegation, Danladi Kifasi, Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and Musa Zagi, General Manager, Health, Safety and Environment of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) said the Federal Government is working seriously on the implementation of the UNEP Report.
 
Kifasi stated that Federal Government has set up committees on the issue and that the delegation had liaised with the Ogoni communities and HYPREP has already started intervention work in the Ogoni community.
 
He maintained that the HYPREP Governing Council has been set up and that the gazette will be ready within two weeks.

While speaking, Uche Ekwunife, chairperson of the committee issued a two week ultimatum to Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources to submit a work plan for the clean-up exercise.
 
“We need a speedy resolution of the issue. We’re talking about a spill in Ogoniland that happened so long ago. We will not continue to deal with this matter in this manner.

“Their water is contaminated, ecosystem is out. The people are living in danger and one out of eight citizens is dying of cancer. UNEP report says it will take about thirty years to clean up and if we are still passing bucks after three years, when are we going to complete it?”
KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja

by KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja

July 2, 2014 | 4:26 pm
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