By Brave Dickson
A non-governmental organization known as the Academic Associate Peace Works has accused the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) of embezzling funds meant for the cleanup of oil impacted sites in Ogoniland.
In an interview with our correspondent, the Rivers State Coordinator of the NGO, Chief Lucky Duumaa said: “The level of corruption perpetrated by HYPREP on the Ogoni cleanup is alarming and is capable of causing another mayhem in Ogoniland.
“HYPREP told us that more than 1millon dollars have been given to UNEP, only to discover that HYPREP had not paid UNEP anything.
“Also there is a provision of N30million compensation paid to each of the 21 oil impacted sites as part of the cleanup exercise.
“But HYPREP went ahead to pay each of the oil impacted sites between N2milllion to N3million, instead of the N30million meant for each of the oil impacted sites as contained in the provision.
“This alone tells you the huge amount of money HYPREP is embezzling from the cleanup funds and it is creating a negative impact on the remediation process.
“HYPREP has refused to do the cleanup job and is now busy cutting corners and that is why some communities in Ogoniland do not know if the oil cleanup is going on or not because HYPREP is not doing the job.
“These fraudulent activities of HYPREP are capable of breeding serious crisis in Ogoniland if the agency is not called to order now.
“HYPREP has not been able to give an account of the millions it has spent.
“The agency is only quoting millions, yet no impact.
“And it is quite disturbing that HYPREP doesn’t want to open up. The agency should understand that the oil cleanup is an Ogoni programme, not HYPREP’s programme.
“I wonder why HYPREP should think it is entitled to embezzle the money meant for Ogoni cleanup.”