Nigeria: Civil society urges more transparency in Niger Delta oil cleanup project financed by oil companies

Author: Chika Oduah, Voice of America, Published on: 30 September 2019

"Nigerian Activists Offer Mixed Reactions on Oil Cleanup Project in Niger Delta", 21 September 2019.

The Niger Delta is where Nigeria...pumps out its most lucrative natural resource. But while companies like Shell, Chevron and ExxonMobil operate there and extract billions of dollars worth of crude oil, millions of people in the region are poor. Their traditional livelihoods as farmers and fishermen have been badly affected by more than 6,000 reported oil spills that have damaged the environment over the past 50 years...

In 2016, the Nigerian government kicked off a billion dollar environmental remediation project in Ogoni...The project gets most of its financing from international oil companies, including Shell, the largest operator, which released an initial $10 million to help set up the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project. The government agency, known as HYPREP, was mandated to handle the cleanup exercise...

The [Ogoni Youth Federation] has filed a lawsuit against HYPREP, demanding to know exactly how the $200 million per year that’s being earmarked for the project’s first five years will be used. This month, it even went as far as asking Shell not to release any more money...However, Fyneface Dumnamene, of the Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre, believes the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is showing commendable commitment to getting the job done...While praising the government, Dumnamene thinks the environmental project’s procurement process was compromised. A local media investigation found that some of the contracted companies aren’t qualified to handle the work, specializing in areas such as fashion and poultry farming. HYPREP rejects these criticisms...

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Related companies: Chevron ExxonMobil Shell