Funds Meant for Ogoni Clean-up won’t Be Diverted- Usman BY OLUSEGUN ARIYO
The Minister of the environment has given assurance regarding the implementation of the united nation (UNEP) reports on the clean-up of Ogoni land during an interactive session of stake-holders in port-Harcourt yesterday. This development is coming after urban express news online made an exclusive report on the feelings of stakeholders as to whether there is the need to also remove 1$billion dollars from its excess crude oil account to fund the UNEP report where many stakeholders that responded urges for change of mind from the government where prominent among the discussion centered on exploitation and balancing of theNiger-delta Environment
Minister of State for Environment Alhaji Usman Jubril, who also serves as the chairman, Governing Council of Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP, spoke in Port Harcourt at the 2nd stakeholders meeting on the implementation of United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, report on Ogoniland clean-up organised by Federal Ministry of Environment through HYPREP. Jibril, who was represented by Dr Ishaku Mohammed, noted that funding had been an area of concern, but stated that significant achievements had been made. He said: “Funding is the area of concern. We have opened an escrow account. We assure that the money for the project is sacrosanct for the project and will not be diverted for other uses.
The structure of the process is formidable that no single member or individual can withdraw anything without going through due process.” Meanwhile, President of KAGOTE and member of Board of Trustees, HYPREP, Dr. Peter Medee, has disclosed that the board had successfully opened an account with a foreign bank, adding that this would guarantee the security of funds for the project. He said: “The Ogoni Trust Fund has been incorporated. Two Ogoni citizens are trustees of the fund.
Ogoni can use the fund without interference from the Federal Government and it is done in such a way that change in administration will not affect the project.
“No part of the fund for the clean-up is missing. We have received the fund from international oil companies, IOCs, led by Shell. The first part of the money had been received and is now in the Ogoni Trust Fund. An Ogoni son is one of the three signatories to the account. “We have successfully opened an account with Standard Chartered Bank of London. We are now sure that the fund is secure.