29 November 2014, Abuja –
Federal Government has said that the restoration of Ogoniland will commence in first quarter next year in line with the recommendations of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Report vis-a-vis the multi-stakeholders group.
Speaking yesterday in Geneva, Switzerland, at the follow-up meeting of technical working groups on environmental restoration of Ogoniland, Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Alison-Madueke, stressed that the Federal Government was in a hurry to begin the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme report which recommended a vote of about $1 billion for the clean-up and remediation of the Ogoni environment which has been ravaged over the past decades by oil spills.
“The government feels it is important to start the process in an aggressive manner. We also think that there are some quick-wins that can be started as early as January next year. If we do not get to do this within a very short period, we may not get to do it again.
“The Federal Government is ready to fulfill its own counterpart funding that will not be part of the regular budgetary provision and that is why an independent body has been set up to manage the fund. On our part, government is committed to ensure this process is kick-started and will continue to take practical steps to encourage all the stakeholders to see to the success of the implementation.”
While the Minister tasked the four Technical Working Groups to ensure that there are associated costs of all the items that are listed, she also stressed the need to have financial implementing framework that will guide the implementation process.While reacting to the call for the involvement of more community members in the multi-stakeholders committee, she cautioned against proliferation of agencies and bodies that may likely impede the speed of the implementation process.