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Uncertainty over NNPC budget hinders Reps oversight on Ogoni land cleanup


Cleanup exercise in Ogoniland PHOTO: GOOGLE

Cleanup exercise in Ogoniland PHOTO: GOOGLE

The House of Representatives has said the uncertainty over the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) budget is preventing its bid to look into Federal Government’s plan on Ogoni land clean up.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Environment and Habitat, Obinna Chidoka said because the budget of the NNPC has not been forwarded to the National Assembly, it had become impossible for the committee to determine the level of government preparedness for the clean up launched by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at Ogoni, River State.

Chidoka said another aspect is the extent of international oil companies’ involvement in the clean up. The IOCs, which include Shell Plc, Total Oil and Agip, are required to provide financial support for the exercise.

The Federal Government, reports had it also plans to extend the clean up to other parts of Niger Delta, voting N9.52 billion for it in the 2017 budget “to safeguarding of water, lands, creeks and ecosystem of the region.”

Oil exploration began in Ogoni land in the 1950s, with more than 30 billion pounds of oil extracted till date. The crude extraction has destroyed the eco system.

During the recent tenure of Ibe Kachikwu as Group Managing Director, the NNPC in July reported an operating profit in May 2016 of N273.74 million as against its operating loss of N19.43 billion in April.

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