By Edith Ike-Eboh
Abuja – The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its Joint Venture Partners have disbursed 360 million dollars toward the Ogoniland Clean-Up project as recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The Joint Venture (JV) Partners are Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Total Exploration and Production of Nigeria (TEPNG) and Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC).
The Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Malam Mele Kyari, disclosed this in a statement signed by its Acting spokesman, Mr Samson Makoji, in Abuja on Monday.
Kyari spoke during a presentation to the House of Representatives Committee on Environment and Habitat at the National Assembly.
Represented by the NNPC Chief Operating Officer, Upstream, Mr Roland Ewubare, he said that funding was not the challenge of the Ogoniland clean-up project.
He added 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.
“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 $360million out of the 900million dollars 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,” Kyari said.
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
She urged all other stakeholders to join hands with HYPREP to ensure the successful clean-up of the area.
Also, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Environment and Habitat, Hon. Johnson Oghuma, expressed 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 dollars for the first five years of a 25 to 30-year process.