By Anthony Isaac
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it has released $360 million in conjunction with its Joint Venture Partners of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Total Exploration and Production of Nigeria (TEPNG) and Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), towards the Ogoniland oil spill clean-up project as recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The corporation in a statement on Monday said its Group Managing Director, disclosed this during a presentation to the House of Representatives Committee on Environment and Habitat, at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja.
Kyari who was represented by the NNPC Chief Operating Officer, Upstream, Mr. Roland Ewubare, stated that funding was not the challenge of the Ogoniland clean-up project, stressing 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 $360million out of the $900million 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 explained 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.
Mallam 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.
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.
ExpressDay recalls 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.
The Report indicted oil companies operating the area for decades of neglect and failure to clean up oil spills in the communities.