Shell hijacks UNEP report’s implimentation

By admin on 31/10/2014

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A committee to implement United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoniland has been inaugurated by Diezani Alison-Madueke, Minister of Petroleum resources. But some human right groups and Ogoni indigenes do not trust the committee.

Alison-Madueke, who inaugurated the Committee, said the move was part of government’s efforts to seek an enduring solution to pollution issues in Ogoni land. The 14-member Committee is meant to propose a focused engagement and implementation plan with clearly defined steps and is also mandated to advise the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP) Advisory Council on the manner in which assets and funds of the project may be held and utilised.

But there are fears in some quarters that the UNEP report might have been hijacked by Shell. Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has expressed fear and alerted the world on what they considered to be dangerous implications of the Alison-Madueke plans. The group in a statement it issued in Lagos said the minister’s involvement in the process and the inclusion of HYPREP in the exercise made a mockery of the demands of Ogoni people and civil society groups as clearly spelt out in the UNEP report.

 

 ERA/FoEN Executive Director, Godwin Ojo said: “We strongly affirm that Shell has hijacked this process through the minister of petroleum. The involvement of the same minister who has left out vocal groups that have demanded that Shell be made to take full responsibility of the Ogoni pollution which can best be categorized as ecocide.

Ojo pointed out: “We have said it time and again that HYPREP being an administrative unit under the petroleum ministry has no role in the clean up of Ogoniland. Rather, an independent third party should be responsible for the management of such clean up funds through the Federal Ministry of Environment in conjunction with the National Oil Spills Detection and Remediation Agency (NOSDRA) which has the statutory oversight function on oil spills clean up and remediation.”

“Given the antecedent of Shell in often declaring spill sites as cleaned-up throughout the Niger Delta the firm has lost complete trust with the people and civil society groups and thus cannot be trusted to tell the truth”

“We reiterate that while we applaud the Federal Government for bowing to local and international pressure to implement recommendations of the UNEP report, the process that the minister of petroleum has unveiled is totally unacceptable. Our recommendations have not changed. Shell should have no role in the clean-up process beyond the polluter pays principle”, Ojo insisted.

 

Posted on October, 31 2014

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