President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday turned his attention to Ogoniland in Rivers State, outlining the process of implementing the United Nations Environmental Programme’s report on the environmental restoration of the area.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the development is in keeping with Buhari’s avowed commitment to working for the development and well-being of all Nigerians.
Adesina said the President took the decision to fast-track the implementation, based on recommendations to him by the Executive Director of UNEP, the UNEP Special Representative for Ogoniland, Permanent Secretaries of the Federal Ministries of Environment and Petroleum Resources, and other stakeholders.
The presidential spokesman said one of the steps approved by the President for immediate implementation was the amendment of the Official Gazette establishing the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project to reflect a new governance framework comprising a Governing Council, a Board of Trustees and Project Management.
He said Buhari further approved that the HYPREP Governing Council should be composed of Ministry of Petroleum Resources (one representative), Ministry of Environment (one representative), impacted states -Rivers (one representative) oil companies and NNPC (four representatives), Ogoniland (two representatives), United Nations System (one representative) and the secretariat headed by project manager.
Adesina added that the President also approved the composition of a Board of Trustees for the HYPREP Trust Fund, to include one representative each from the Federal Government, NNPC, international oil companies, Ogoniland and the United Nations System.
The statement added: “Following a meeting held on the directive of President Buhari, it was also agreed that a contribution deposit of $10m will be made by stakeholders within 30 days of the appointment of members of the Board of Trustees for the Trust Fund, who will be responsible for collecting and managing funds from contributors and donors.
“A new implementation template has also been evolved at the instance of President Buhari, and the environmental clean-up of Ogoniland will commence in earnest with the President’s inauguration of the HYPREP Governing Council and the Board of Trustees for the Trust Fund.”