By Ossom Raphael
The Federal Government of Nigeria has said that the time to take decisive actions to restore Ogoni land was now as it established stakeholders committee to commence implementation of United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, report on Ogoni land.
The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alision Madueke, made the statement in Abuja at the Stakeholders’ Forum on Environmental Restoration of Ogoni land.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke noted that, stakeholders have not been properly consulted or incorporated into the UNEP report implementation, adding that government has carefully structure the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project, HYPRP to rejuvenate the programme to restore Ogoni land.
“upon consultations with the people of Ogoni land, it has become clear stakeholders have not been properly consulted or incorporated into the implementation processes of the UNEP report.
“Accordingly, government has been deliberately cautious by carefully reviewing the HYPRP structure to determine the best way to rejuvenate the programme to really restore Ogoni land as envisioned in the report.”
“Let me also make it very clear that despite the setbacks we have encountered and we have encountered quite a few with HYPRP over the last one and a half year, we have focused on this mission with every ounce of decisive determination.
“So ladies and gentle men, I do believe that the time for decisive action is now. Hence we have asked all of you, multi-lateral stakeholders across the board, to join us today to have a very open and inclusive discourse.
Speaking at the forum, the President of Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, Comrade Legborsi Saro Pyagbara, demanded full implementation of UNEP report.
According to Com. Pyagbara “for the Ogoni people, we are not prepared for any half measures in the way to prepare the implementation of this report. For the Ogoni people, we feel that all that is need should be put in place for the full implementation of that report”.
It would be recalled that the Federal Government, in 2005 commissioned UNEP to conduct an independent assessment of the environment and public health impacts of oil contamination in Ogoniland, in the Niger Delta.
But ever since the submission of the report, no concrete step was taken by the government to implement the recommendations of the reports.
Stakeholders at the forum organised by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources include, the Minister of Environment, Mrs. Laurentia Malam, UNEP Special Envoy, Mr. Erik Solhem, Country Representative of UNEP, King Gbenemene of Bangha, HRH, Baridam Suanu, representative of NOSDRA, United Nations , UN, Representative in Nigeria, Dauda Toure, Managing Directors of Shell and Total Nigeria PLC, respectively, among others.