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Moving HYPREP to Niger Delta ministry unnecessary, HOMEF tells FG

By Michael Egbejule, Benin City
08 August 2022   |   2:49 am
A non-governmental organisation, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), yesterday, urged the Federal Government to dismiss the plan to move the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP)

Buhari

A non-governmental organisation, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), yesterday, urged the Federal Government to dismiss the plan to move the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP) from the Ministry of Environment to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

It described the move as unnecessary and a distraction, at a time international oil companies are taking steps to divest from onshore oil fields.

HOMEF’s reaction followed an announcement by Minister of Transportation, Muazu Jaji Sambo, in Abuja, where he reportedly said HYPREP is purely a Niger Delta affair; hence the government has concluded a plan to transfer it to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs because doing so would quicken the pace of clean-up in the region.

HYPREP was established under the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources in 2012, following the recommendation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on the assessment of the Ogoni environment in 2011.

A statement by HOMEF’s Director, Nnimmo Bassey, released in Benin City by Kome Odhomor, Media/Communication Lead of the organisation, argued that the planned move appears to stem from a major misconception that HYPREP is solely a Niger Delta affair.

It said: “This is far from being accurate. We have hydrocarbon pollution in other areas of Nigeria outside the Niger Delta, including around the Kaduna refinery, and at Atlas Cove, Badagry and other places in Lagos. It is also obvious that with oil extraction activities in Lagos waters and Dangote’s refinery being built at Lekki, hydrocarbon pollution will soon become the norm in Lagos. That is not Niger Delta.”

“Moreover, with plans to invest 30 per cent of the profits of Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd in prospecting for petroleum resources in frontier basins, the scope of pollution will expand.

“That will not be in the Niger Delta. Besides the fact that moving HYPREP to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs unnecessarily limits its scope, it also blindsides the essential backstopping that agencies, such as National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), seamlessly provide to the agency.

“If the move is allowed to stand, there will be an avoidable duplication of personnel, as the new ministry grapples with the in-house expertise required for the extremely specialised assignments of the agency. If such a move is allowed to stand, there is a real risk of further slowing down the clean-up of Ogoniland or completely scuttling the process.

“We do not need the confusion and wastage that will be created by this planned move of HYPREP to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.”

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