The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has kicked against the reported transfer of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) from the Federal Ministry of Environment (MOE) to the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA).
The group urged the Federal Government to rescind the purported transfer stressing it would have adverse consequences on the ongoing Ogoni environmental remediation and restoration exercise in terms of operational progress and management.
In a statement signed by MOSOP president, Chief Prince Nuvete Biira; Deputy president, Hon. Kammy Ngelale; Secretary-general, Festus Legbara; Assistant secretary-general, Stephen Nmane; Financial secretary, Emere Mba Chu; Treasurer, Needam John Gbenenee; Publicity secretary, Dr. Young Nkpah and legal adviser Felix Kambe, they maintained that the Ministry of Environment remained critical to the success of the Ogoni ecological rejuvenation project which, if successful, would inform replication in other impacted areas of the Niger Delta and the country at large.
“With the ministry’s acknowledged understanding of the dynamics of Ogoni and the existential conditions connecting the clean-up exercise, any transfer of HYPREP to an organ of government with doubtful capacity, will not be in the interest of the project and our people hence our irresistible resistance.
“Insofar as we are concerned and as it is factual, the ministry has the resourcefulness including quality environmental governance structure and experience having been involved in ecosystem revival administration for decades,” it said.
The statement stated that this development gave the environment ministry an edge over the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in terms of experience, technical expertise and managerial competence. It said the commitments of the Minister of Environment, Barrister Mohammed Abdullahi and his team have driven the restoration of the clean-up exercise to the path of efficiency and success.
“Besides, the popular programmes and projects lined up including but not limited to the sustainable power supply and skill acquisition training for Ogoni youths, have rekindled the people’s exhilaration and confidence in the exercise.
“The mandate of the MNDA entails the implementation of government plans and frameworks for rapid socio-economic development of the Niger Delta region, which has little to do with environmental recovery and control. Hence, we are opposed to the transfer of HYPREP to MNDA.
“Poor capacity, technical know-how and managerial proficiency are some of the reasons we protested against the retention of HYPREP in the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources in 2016, occasioning its transfer to the Federal Ministry of Environment,” it added.