Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, ERA/FOeN, a civil society organisation in the forefront for the implementation of the United Nations Environmental Programme, UNEP, report on Ogoniland, has called for the dissolution of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project, HYPREP, as part of the way forward.
ERA/FOeN made the demand at a one-day Environmental Parliament on the Non-Implementation of the United Nations Environmental Programme, UNEP, on Ogoniland in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The organisation, in a communiqué issued after the meeting, noted that while it observed that the Buhari-led administration has committed itself to the implementation of UNEP’s report, no cogent step has been taken to that effect almost one year into the administration.
ERA/FOeN also accused Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, of shielding itself from the clean-up process and demanded for the immediate announcement of the governing body and board of trustees for the flag-off of the clean-up.
They called on the federal government to establish the Ogoni cleanup and Restoration Fund with an initial sum of $1billion, as well as disclose its source of funding since it was not captured in the 2016 budget.
“Shell and its Joint Venture partners, Agip and TotalFinaElf as major polluters in the oil industry are shielding themselves and representing their own interests by lobbying to be part of the governing council. We categorically demand that they should be removed forthwith from the proposed board if they are to be given the free hand to operate professionally,” the communiqué reads in part.
Addressing journalists shortly after the meeting, Executive Director of ERA/FOeN, Dr Godwin Uyi Ojo, stated that the continued delay on the part of the federal government to implement the UNEP report has brought untold hardship to the Ogonis.
Ojo, who observed that only one part of the report, which is the clean-up, is beginning to overshadow remediation and compensation, said they would take oil companies to the International Court of Justice if pollution in the Niger-Delta continues unabated.

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