Port Harcourt—The Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project says $360m has been released for the clean-up of the polluted Ogoni land in the Niger Delta.
The HYPREP Project Coordinator, Prof Nenibarini Zabbey, disclosed this after a four-day tour of remediated project sites and the reticulated water projects in the four local government areas of Ogoni, according to the Punch.
Zabbey said, “We are happy to report to you that a lot of activities are going on in Ogoniland. The mandate of HYPREP is mainly to restore the Ogoni environment, both land and wetland contaminated.
“We are also mandated to restore the livelihoods of the people. The much I know is that the board of trustees has released about $360,000,000. We have not exhausted that amount. We are still paying the contractors.”
He expressed delight that they rounded off the tour of the project on the 12th anniversary of the release of the UNEP Report on Ogoni land.
Zabbey said, “We have been in the field with them (Board of Trustees of Ogoni Trust Fund), showing them our facilities and project sites – the remediated sites and those that are active.
“We have taken them to water facilities and those who have benefitted from our livelihood programmes. We did this because it is the responsibility of the BoT/Ogoni Trust Fund to actually find out if we are spending the money, they are giving to the Project Coordination Office prudently.
“To also see if we have built-in sustainability framework into all of our activities.”
The BoT Chairman, Dr Mike Nwielaghi, stated that the HYPREP gazette mandates the BoT to release necessary funds, assess the projects regularly and report back.
He said, “It was the decision of the board in line with the gazette of HYPREP that we embark on occasional tours to HYPREP project sites to be able to acquaint ourselves with the fund we send to HYPREP; how it is being used, what projects are there for us to see and what more do they need.
“It has been a four-day intensive visit. We have gone to all four LGAs. We have come and we have seen. In a way, I can proudly say that we have conquered.
“As we speak, we have gone to remediated sites. In those sites that have been recovered, we could see that grass and trees are growing.
“We will have to put a signal post on those sites to show that truly those areas have been remediated.
“I can say without fear of equivocation that there has been value for money spent on the remediation projects.”