From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The Executive Director, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo, yesterday, called on the Federal Ministry of Environment and HYPREP to make the contractual terms and costs for the over N6 billion water projects public so that local communities, civic groups and the international community can monitor and evaluate its success.
His call was contained in a press statement issued and signed by Barr. Mike Karikpo, Porgrammes Director, ERA/FoEN and made available to newsmen in Benin City.
Dr. Ojo also tasked the new board and the governing council to avoid any conflict of interests in the award of clean-up contracts and procurement process that has been a major issue bisetting the clean-up process in Ogoni land.
Ojo alleged that the federal government environmental legacy project in the last four years has been a story of misplaced priorities, politicized clean up, personal interest of board members overriding the interest of delivering a world class clean-up process and the critical need to save the lives of the people affected by the environmental devastation.
He added that the slow pace of the clean-up and faulty procurement process are key areas that the present crop of managers should urgently address.
Further, Ojo stated that the new managers should also “ensure that the major pillar of the clean-up process which is the establishment of the Centre of Excellence to provide capacity building for HYPREP staff and the Ogonis and document lessons learnt for the replication of the clean-up in the entire polluted Niger Delta is restored.”