NNPC- JV partners disburse $360m for Ogoni cleanup

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By Agatha Chitumu, Abuja

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its Joint Venture Partners of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Total Exploration and Production of Nigeria (TEPNG) and Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), have disbursed $360million towards the Ogoniland cleanup project as recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

A statement by the corporation’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Samson Makoji, said, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, disclosed this during a presentation to the House of Representatives Committee on Environment and Habitat at the National Assembly Complex Abuja, on Monday.

The GMD who was represented by the NNPC Chief Operating Officer, Upstream, Mr. Roland Ewubare, stated that funding was not the challenge of the Ogoniland cleanup project, stressing that NNPC and its JV partners were up to date in their financial remittance to the cleanup project fund based on the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) framework.

“Ogoni cleanup 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 cleanup exercise,” Mallam Kyari said.

He noted that though NNPC and its JV partners were not responsible for the implementation of the cleanup, all stakeholders must come together to ensure that the project was carried out successfully.

Mallam Kyari added that the implementation of the cleanup 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 cleanup 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 cleanup project and urged all other stakeholders to join hands with HYPREP to ensure the successful cleanup 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.

It would be recalled that the UNEP Report on Ogoniland cleanup had estimated an initial cleanup costs of over $1billion for the first five years of a 25 to 30-year process.

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