Multinational oil firms delay Ogoni clean up

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    …Pay only $180m of the $1bn fund

Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja

companies (IOCs) have been accused of holding up the orchestrated Ogoni fund, having contributed just about $180 million (about N64.8 billion) of the $200 million expected from them.

The monies, which were paid into the London escrow account of the Standard Chartered Bank, were separate from the $10 million released by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP) for initial administrative expenses.

Orient Energy Review gathered that Shell Joint Venture [JV], which comprise of NNPC, Total, Agip Oil Company (NAOC) are expected to contribute 90% of the $1 billion clean-up fund in the first five years, while Rivers State is expected to contribute $300 million into the fund.

Refineries and other local operators are to contribute five per cent each. The clean-up exercise will take 25-30 years to accomplish.

The programme manager, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Kolawole Banwo, who made the revelations, said the Federal Government had incorporated Ogoni Trust Fund, and Escrow Account opened in Standard Chartered Bank of London for the board of trustee of HYPREP and credited with $180 million in 2018.

He said this was sequel to ground-breaking ceremony for the Integrated Contaminated Soil Management Centre in February 2017 performed in Bori by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo. Contractors where mobilized and hand-over of sites to contractors handing over 16 polluted sites to companies that would clean them up in December 2018 done.

Speaking on the United Nation Environmental Report (UNEPR) on Ogoniland released in August 2011, Banwo said despite the contributions from the oil firms, according to Banwo there is nothing on ground adding that there is  absence of the integrated contaminated soil management centre which comprising an incinerator, thermal unit, soil washing unit and a contaminated water treatment unit

He called on HYPREP to immediately commence the implementation of the livelihood component of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report. Reacting to the Ogoni Restoration Fund contributions update, spokesperson for the SPDC, Bamidele Odugbesan, said the SPDC JV actually contributed a of $180million at the end of 2018.

“SPDC actively supports the clean-up process as a member of the Governing Council and Board of Trustees to oversee HYPREP implement the UNEP Report in Ogoniland. The SPDC JV provided $10 million in 2017 to help set up the HYPREP office. $170 million was deposited into an escrow account in 2018 and $180 million will be allocated by the JV to fund HYPREP’s activities each year from 2019 to 2022”, he stated.

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