President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday approved several actions to fast-track the long delayed implementation of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Report on the environmental restoration of Ogoniland.
This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja by the president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.
The president said that the approval was in keeping with his avowed commitment to working for the development and well-being of all Nigerians.
Buhari stated that the actions approved, as recommended to him by stakeholders, included the amendment of the official gazette establishing the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP) to reflect a new governance framework.
The new framework would comprise a Governing Council and a Board of Trustees.
According to the statement, the stakeholders include the Executive Director of UNEP, the UNEP Special Representative for Ogoniland and Permanent Secretaries of the Federal Ministries of Environment and Petroleum Resources.
The president, the statement said, further approved that the HYPREP Governing Council should be composed of four representatives from oil companies and NNPC.
Other members of the Council, according to the statement, are two representatives from Ogoniland and one representative each from Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Federal Ministry of Environment, Impacted States (Rivers) and United Nations System.
The secretariat, it said, would be headed by a Project Manager.
The statement said the president also approved the composition of a Board of Trustees for the HYPREP Trust Fund to include one representative each from Federal Government, NNPC, International Oil Companies, Ogoniland and United Nations System.
“Following a meeting held on the directive of President Buhari, it was also agreed that a contribution deposit of 10 million United States dollars will be made by stakeholders within 30 days of the appointment of members of the Board of Trustees for the Trust Fund,’’ it said.
The board, it added, would be responsible for collecting and managing funds from contributors and donors.
The statement stated that a new implementation template had also been evolved at the instance of the president.
It maintained that the environmental clean-up of Ogoniland would commence in earnest with the president’s inauguration of the HYPREP Governing Council and the Board of Trustees for the Trust Fund.