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CSOs to FG: Little to Show for N138bn Expended on Ogoni Cleanup since 2016

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  • Express Dissatisfaction with pace of work
  • Calls for independent monitoring of process

Godsgift Onyedinefu

The Cordaid-led Strategic Partnership (SP) Lobby and Advocacy Program made up of various Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), has expressed dissatisfaction on progress made on the clean up of Ogoni Land, explaining that government has not put in place needed interventions and the process of the clean up has not been transparent.

Dr. Akinwunmi Oke, project coordinator SP, speaking at a the close-out dissemination event on the SP’s achievements in Abuja on Tuesday , said the federal government is yet to implement the provisions of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report on how the process should be effectively implemented

The coordinator stated this while noting that since 2016, over 360 million dollars (N137. 34 billion) have been committed to the clean up of Ogoni Land translation.

He said there was a need to get value for money while also advocating for sustainable funding of the project.

Oke said a scorecard conducted by one of its partners brought to the fore issues on how the contracts for the clean up are being issued in the first place and the capacity of the contractors.

“We are not satisfied with how the process is going. I am concerned that we still do not have the provision of portable water in Ogoni Land, people still drink water polluted with hydro carbons despite clear recommendations form the UNEP report that the process must include provision of portable water to communities where hydro carbon pollution was 600 times higher.

“Government must ensure that these provisions are adhered to and go through these processes as planned,” he said.

Oke further called on federal government to set up independent monitoring of the clean up to ensure accountability of key Performance Index (KPIs) defined by the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYREP) and agreed with communities.

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He also said there is a need for ongoing consultations with HYREP to institute inclusive sustainable livelihood for Ogoni communities.

Salaudeen Hashim, Programme Manager, CISLAC, said one of the biggest achievements of the project is the establishment of a more robust HYREP with funding to carry out the clean up in 2006.

He charged HYRRP to be more strategic with its communication with the communities to ensure their active participation in the process.

He further tasked government on effective oversight of the agency.

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