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Shell yet to pay $200m yearly counterpart fund for Ogoniland cleanup–MOSOP

More facts suggesting that the cleanup of polluted Ogoniland in Rivers State may remain a mirage emerged in Port Harcourt on Wednesday as the leadership of Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) has alleged that Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) is yet to pay $200m, its share of the counterpart funding.

Before now, there had been claims and counter claims both from the federal and state governments, international monitoring groups and the community on back and forth of real takeoff of the cleanup.

But yesterday, the MOSOP President, Legbosi Piagbara told Business Hilights that Shell had not shown enough willingness to be part of the exercise, claiming that “the company is supposed to pay $200m annually into the cleanup trust fund”.

While stressing that the cleanup would not be realisable without Shell’s fulfilment of its part of the funding plan, Piagbara averred that the $10m the company had paid was a take-off fund for the clean-up project.

According to him, “This cannot handle the project itself”.

“The agreement is an annual payment of $200m for the clean-up; as we speak, Shell cannot say it has paid such money.

“Shell has not lived up to the agreement; we are expecting it to pay its share of the funding so that efforts on the project will become visible,” MOSOP leader noted.

Business Hilights recalls that the acting President, Yemi Osinbajo had in June 2016 kicked-started the oil spillage clean-up in Bodo, Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers in company of the state governor and former Minister of Environment, now UN Under Secretary.

However, both the government of the state, Amnesty International and the National Youth Council of Ogoni People had maintained being unsatisfied with the handling of the entire cleanup process and funding.