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Ogoni cleanup: Shell’s inclusion in HYPREP board bad for transparency—Senate

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For transparency sake, the inclusion of Royal Dutch Shell as a member of the Governing Council of Hydrocarbon Remediation Project (HYPREB), leaves much to be desired.

The council is saddled with the responsibility of superintending the policies of HYPREP, providing policy guidelines relating to its functions, guide and steer HYPREP on the strategic processes required for the execution of approved projects among others as it relates to the cleaning up of Ogoni land from the oil pollution.

This was the position of the Chairman, Senate Committee on Ecology and Climate Change, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim, at the launch of Just Energy Transition (JET) in Nigeria in Abuja, where he sealed an understanding with the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, ERA/FoEN, to sponsor a Bill for the JET.

It would be recalled that the rights group had already petitioned National Assembly for Shell’s inclusion in the Council.

Explaining more on the error committed by the federal government in including Shell, Senator Ibrahim averred that “That is a bit strange the inclusion of Shell on governing council) because the main culprit is Shell, when you put Shell on the board that means you cannot have free hand to do things as they should.

“So I believe the authority will look into this matter and try to take Shell out of it. They could make their contributions in other ways but not on the board because this board is going to take decisions which will be bidding on everybody including Shell and the government itself.”

He noted that at plenary, he would ensure that Shell, the culprit is removed from the Council considering the fact that it is largely believed to be the key suspect in the entire Ogoniland pollution crisis over the years.

In his remarks on the launch of the JET and the planned Bill on Renewable Energy, the leader of ERA/FoEN, Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo observed that “This is a very excellent initiative because we all need energy, the whole world needs energy and what we are using basically now is fossil energy and we want to gradually switch over to renewable energy so that we will have a cleaner environment.

He added that “This is a very important topic being discussed all over the world and we are on the launching of this just energy transition, it is a very important issue all must get involved in. I will look at the bill on renewable energy for us to get an act to establish a national renewable energy and energy efficiency council for Nigeria.  The bill is ready and it is not going to take much time.

Continuing, Dr. Ojo averred that another aim of the occasion is to “pursue the efforts to provide a legislative backing by act of parliament for improved renewable energy access to all.  As a result of the carbon emission released into the atmosphere, there is a rising earth’s temperature leading to extreme weather conditions that are resulting in catastrophic events on a global scale”.

“Today in Nigeria, before the rain even touches the ground at all, for thirty minutes, you see how velocity will be thus taking off the roofs and demolishing houses, this trend is increasing.

“This initiative is a call to action to all for just energy transition in Nigeria that is in line with meeting also the Millennium Development Goal Seven on energy access for all. A global response to climate change culminated in the Paris Agreement in 2015 to reduce carbon and stimulate development pathway to reduce and avoid catastrophic events,” leader of ERA/FoEN, Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo noted.

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