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Rising dollar over naira knocks out $1bn budget for Ogoni cleanup

The board of trustees on Ogoni cleanup scheme has hinted that unless naira bounces back, the initial approval of $1bn for the job may not work after all.

This was part of the revelations of the President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Mr. Legborsi Pyagbara in after a meeting in Port Harcourt weekend.

Explaining more, he said when the project was conceived in 2011, the exchange rate was much lower, adding that it had since risen to over N500 to a dollar.

“We had expected that the speed of the implementation process would be faster than what we are seeing. Under the existing circumstance, we need to revalue the exercise to do things properly, instead of being in a hurry and unable to accomplish the task at the end.”

Dr. Peter Medee, another board member was however concerned in doing a good job, saying “We must not be in a hurry to get the cleanup done, but ensure that the best is given to our people to ensure its sustainability.”

He said community sensitisation and training of personnel were ongoing in line with the UNEP’s recommendation, promising that other activities would start next week, noting that $200 million would be released in five batches each year for the next five years to cover the budgeted amount.