Federal Government votes $190 million for Ogoni clean-up
The Federal Government has earmarked $190 million towards the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on Ogoniland.Senator Magnus Abe, representing Rivers South East Senatorial district revealed this in Port Harcourt at the weekend.
He explained that they were still pressing to increase the budgetary provision to $200 million to enable the project to begin, adding that the amount was part of this year’s contributions by Shell.
The UNEP had in its 2011 report presented to the Federal Government, recommended that at least $1 billion would be required in the first five years, which is expected to be completed in three decades.
Abe, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) disclosed that there were also plans to expand power projects at Andoni and Oyigbo local council areas of his senatorial district.
On the completion of the East-West road project, he explained that he was also working with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to increase the budgetary provision for the project, which was started by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The senator lamented that the contractor handling the project had complained that the fund was not enough for them to go back to site.He stressed that the contractor promised to add its funds to complete the project if they were given a minimum amount.
On Bodo-Bony road project, he said there were chances of its speedy completion because the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) had promised to fund it.Meanwhile, an environmental rights group, the Environmental Right Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has urged the Nigerian Agip Oil Company to obey the Supreme Court ruling on the rightful owners of the land hosting the Obama flow station.
The Coordinator of the group in Bayelsa, Mr. Alagoa Morris, who made the request in a statement, lamented that10 years after the ruling, the oil firm was yet to obey the judgment.
However, Agip’s District General Manager, Fabrizio Trilli, had in a letter in 2008 to the state governor allegedly admitted that the land belongs to the Egebekiri family.
“Our dilemma, however, is that the subject matter of these court actions is opposite our Obama flow station in Nembe Local Council. At the time of acquisition, the Ikoni family presented themselves as the family of occupation and the company dealt with them and paid them the agreed compensation.”