OYF asks SPDC to cease release of funds to HYPREP

An Ogoni youth organisation, Ogoni Youths Federation, OYF, has called Dutch oil multinational, the Shell Petroleum Development Company, (SPDC) to cease the release of funds meant for the implementation of the Ogoni clean-up project to the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP).

OYF urged SPDC to stop the release of funds in the 2020/2021 budget until previous funds released are accounted for by HYPREP.

The group, in a press statement signed by Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana, its national president which was obtained by theportcitynews lamented the incessant misappropriation of funds so far released for the Ogoni environmental cleanup project by HYPREP.

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According to him, the funds amount to about $187m.

“After the release of the initial $10m by Shell, there were cases of misappropriation and diversion which prompted Ogoni youths, through the OYF to institute a legal action against the Federal Ministry of Environment and HYPREP to account for the funds.”

The group also regretted the manner with which the implementation of the Ogoni clean-up project was being executed.

It also alleged that there was a “deliberate compromise of the emergency measures such as the provision of potable water for the Ogoni people, including the engagement of genuine stakeholders and proper representation of people at the grassroots, as well as creation of jobs for the displaced youths of Ogoni.”

It also condemned what it described as, “a spree of clean -up contract awards to firms of doubtful profiles and pedigrees in a manner that appeared like political patronage,”.

OYF, however, called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to commence a forensic investigation of financial expenditure on the Ogoni clean-up project.

The group declared that “the extreme politicisation of contract awards resulting in the exclusion of competent indigenous contractors from Ogoni is as insensitive as it is unacceptable.”