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CSOs to FG: There’s little to show for N137bn allocated for Ogoni clean-up

Oke said a scorecard by one of its partners brought to the fore issues on how the contracts for the clean-up are issued.

Speaking at a the close-out dissemination event on the SP’s achievements in Abuja on Tuesday, Akinwunmi Oke, project coordinator of the programme, said the government has not put in place needed interventions and the process of the clean-up has not been transparent.

He noted that the federal government is yet to implement the provisions of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report on how the process should be effectively implemented.

“Government must ensure that these provisions are adhered to and go through these processes as planned.”

According to him, since 2016, over $360 million (N137 billion) has been committed to the clean-up of Ogoniland, adding that there was a need to show value for the allocated funds.

Oke said a scorecard by one of its partners brought to the fore issues on how the contracts for the clean-up are issued.

“We are not satisfied with how the process is going. I am concerned that we still do not have the provision of potable water in Ogoniland. People still drink water polluted with hydrocarbon, despite clear recommendations from the UNEP report that the process must include provision of potable water to communities where hydrocarbon pollution was 600 times higher,” he said.

“Government must ensure that these provisions are adhered to and go through these processes as planned.”

Oke also urged the federal government to set up independent monitoring of the clean-up exercise to ensure accountability of key performance indicators (KPIs) as defined by the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) in agreement with the communities.

He also maintained that there was a need for consultations with HYPREP to ensure inclusive sustainable livelihoods for Ogoni communities.

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Salaudeen Hashim, programme manager, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), said one of the biggest achievements of the project is the establishment of a more robust HYPREP with funding to carry out the clean-up.

He called for better strategy in communication with the communities to ensure their active participation in the process, and also tasked government on effective oversight of the agency.

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