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Official bureaucracy may push Ogoni cleanup to next year—Right activist

Contrary to the pronouncement of the Minister of Environment, Ibrahim Jibril, that the incessantly postponed cleanup of polluted Ogoniland will commence this month, the Head of Research at Africa Environmental & Economic Peace Mission (AEEPM), Dr. Gilbert Muoka, has said that official time wasting and bureaucracies will push the commencement to early next year.

It would be recalled that since the June 2016 flag off by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the real commencement of the project had suffered unprecedented postponement, thus suggesting government’s cold feet in the deal which the United nations had made provisions for part funding after all.
In an interview on Thursday in Port Harcourt, he said “For more than three years the UNDP had called for the job, the Body language of the federal government on this matter had been that of foot-dragging”.
“We all know the meaning of sending and processing a document at the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) and then to the Federal Executive Council (FEC). This means another quarter will pass before we will hear anything about the cleanup again”.
Dr. Muoka therefore called for speedy attention to the document at the said offices so that the work will commence in earnest for early return of biological normalcy in the axis.
Business Hilights recalls that the Minister had assured that the remediation exercise would no longer be postponed as the governing council of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) is on the verge of submitting the necessary procurement document to the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) and then to the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
According to him, “I expect in the next one or two weeks, the HYPREP governing council, which is in charge of the Ogoni cleanup, will seat to finalise and pass these papers to BPP for confirmation and finally to the Federal Executive Council.
“So, all things being equal, we are expecting that in this November, the clean-up exercise will begin earnestly. In short, what is beyond the ministry, the council will approve and what is beyond the Council will have to get approval from FEC.
“So, I can assure you we are on course and this time around, there won’t be shifting of date and you can be rest assured that very soon, the clean-up exercise will become reality. It is our work, we are committed to it and we will ensure we achieve this stated objective,” the minister averred.
Before now, the people of Ogoni and even the Rivers State government had criticized government’s lip services and false claims on level of activities towards the multimillion dollar exercise.
Besides, several international right groups had observed cold feet on the side of the government in carrying out the cleanup.