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Thursday, 6 August 2015

POLITICS/CURRENT AFFAIRS: Buhari Approves Actions To Fast-Track Environmental Clean-Up Of Ogoniland

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday approved several actions to fast-track the implementation of the United Nations Environmental Programme Report on Ogoniland.The actions approved by President Buhari, according to a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, were 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, include the amendment of the Official Gazette establishing the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP) to reflect a new governance framework comprising a Governing Council, a Board of Trustees and Project Management.

The statement reads: "The President further approved that the HYPREP Governing Council should be composed as follows: Ministry of Petroleum Resources (One representative), Federal 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 Secretariat - Headed by Project Manager."

"He also approved the composition of a Board of Trustees for the HYPREP Trust Fund as follows: Federal Government (One representative), NNPC (One representative), International Oil Companies (One representative), Ogoniland (One representative) and United Nations System (One representative)."

Following a meeting held on the directive of President Buhari, the statement said that it was also agreed that a contribution deposit of $10 million 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," it added.

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