FG to begin UNEP report implementation soon – Minister

BORI – The Federal Government would soon start discussions with the United Nations (UN) and Ogoni communities to begin implementation of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Report on Ogoniland, a top official said on Friday.

The Minister for Petroleum Resources, Mrs Dieziani Allison-Madueke, said this during a meeting with Ogoni leaders at Bori in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers.

Allison-Madueke, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Danladi Kifasi, said the Federal Government, through its agency, the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP), had implemented some of the “transitional phase” of the report.

“The ministry has invited the relevant UN institutions to work with it to inject fresh urgency inro the matter and to collaboratively and collectively address this issue.

“We will be working with the UN, Ogoni communities and relevant Nigerian agencies, to pool our collective knowledge and construct a road map to deliver a comprehensive remediation programme with a focus on immediate delivery and restitution. [eap_ad_1] “We are fast-tracking the process of implementation by engaging the services of international experts to begin the implementation of the UNEP Report as soon as possible, she said.

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Allison-Madueke said that the Federal Government would also compel companies responsible for hydrocarbon-pollution of other areas in the Niger Delta to clean up the areas with their own fund.

The minister said this development led to the setting up of the HYPREP in July 2012, to clean up all communities impacted by hydrocarbon contamination in the country.

The minister said that the Federal Government had released funds for the anticipated clean-up, to end the sufferings of the Ogoni people.

A member of the National Assembly, Sen. Magnus Abe (APC-Rivers East), who spoke on behalf of the Ogoni people, called for the establishment of an Ogoni Environmental Restoration Project  to replace HYPREP.

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“The UNEP Report is a recommendation that focused only on Ogoniland and not the entire Nigeria and as such, an Ogoni Environmental Restoration Project should be set up for environment clean up alone.”

Abe said no Ogoni son or daughter would play politics with the implementation of the UNEP report.

‘’ We have invested too much; we have lost too much; we have hoped too much; we have planned too much; we cannot, at this hour, begin to play with what is to us a matter of life and death,’’ he said.

The senator urged Ogoni people to support the initiative of the Federal Government in opening dialogue with them on the implementation of the report.

‘’Our demand is clear; the UNEP report should be implemented. We want to thank you for saying that the  money for Ogoni will be spent on Ogoni,’’ Abe added. (NAN)

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