Shell to disburse $200 million for 5 years
Acting president, Yemi Osinbajo, has revealed that the Shell petroleum development(SPDC) will be forking out funds for the Niger delta cleanup.
Osinbajo, who spoke at the Rivers state oil-producing communities stakeholders meeting held at the Rivers government house on Monday, stated that the cleanup will be funded Shell.
The clean-up project is to be funded by SPDC with an initial $1bn disbursed at $200m per annum over 5 years. A $10m takeoff grant has been provided.
Following the flag off, a Technical Committee was set up in the Ministry, and has been working on the project-related activities that must be addressed immediately. Some of these projects in preparation include;
1. Provision of clean drinking water to the impacted communities.
2. Conducting a health impact assessment study being planned, in order to begin to better understand the level of the human health issues referred to in your letter.
3. Demonstration of remediation technology, which will allow for the testing of the different approaches that are being proffered from around the world, and to ensure that only the best is ultimately applied.
4. Groundbreaking for the construction of an integrated contaminated soil management centre which will be critical to the clean-up process.
5. Groundbreaking for the construction of a Centre of Excellence.
The acting president also spoke on the progress and state of consultations being made in the region. he said;
All the steps we have taken so far have been in a consultative process, involving representatives of government, civil society, international organizations, international oil companies and local communities. Indeed, representatives of the Ogoni communities are present on the Governing Council and the Board of Trustees and have been involved in the decision-making process.
The next 6months will be critical to starting a long journey to realizing the fruits of a struggle that has cost many lives and loss of the ecosystem.
Of course, Ogoniland is just one, though important part of the Niger Delta. Environmental remediation is essential across the entire region in order to restore healthy living conditions, enable other productive activities to take-off or resume and improve the quality of lives in general.
This would of course require that we do not worsen the situation by acts which would further worsen the environmental damage that has already occurred.
It is now clear that Niger Delta needs a new vision. But not just a new vision but a fresh commitment and a renewed spirit by all stakeholders including the states, federal agencies and oil- bearing communities.