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NNPC, IOCs release $360 million for Ogoni cleanup

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Of the $1 billion recommended for the cleanup of Ogoniland, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its joint venture (JV) partners – Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Total Exploration and Production of Nigeria (TEPNG) and Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC)– yesterday disbursed $360 million for the project.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report had estimated an initial expenditure of over $1 billion for the first five years in the 25 to 30 years cycle.

Addressing the relevant House of Representatives committee, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, said funding was not a challenge to the project, stressing that the national oil firm and its JV partners were up to date in their financial commitments to the course.

Represented by the corporation’s Chief Operating Officer, Upstream, Roland Ewubare, Kyari said: “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 $360 million out of the $900 million recommended. The disbursement was based on the standards set which required that we release funds based on the implementation parameters of the cleanup exercise.”

According to him, while NNPC and its JV partners were not responsible for the implementation of the cleanup, he, added, however, that all stakeholders must come together to ensure that the project succeeds.

Kyari added that the implementation of the programme was key, as the exercise would restore the land, water and the economic well-being of the people of the area.

He decried the misinformation about the entire exercise, urging the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) to ensure that the narrative changes for the effective implementation of the project.

However, the factional president of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Fegalo Nsuke, impressed it on HYPREP to be diligent and transparent with the exercise.

In a statement yesterday in Abuja, he regretted that his people still drink polluted water, adding that no plan in sight for the “Centre of Excellence and compensation since our lands and livelihoods have been destroyed.”

He added that the “centre would build our capacity to participate in the cleanup as contained in the UNEP report.”


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