Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria has called on International Oil Companies and the Federal Government to set up a $100bn rehabilitation fund for the Niger Delta.
Speaking with Financial Street on Sunday in Lagos, the founder of ERA/FoEN, Godwin Uyi-Ojo, noted that the government and IOCs should be made to account for the mess they created over the years and clear it up by using the Polluter-Based Principle.
The fund, which he said would be for the cleaning of the Niger Delta, should be set up immediately, even as the Ogoni clean-up is still ongoing.
According to him, it is just logical for the fund to be set up, as Niger Delta activists cannot afford to allow their parents, brothers and sisters to continue to die from pollution.
Having urged the newly inaugurated governing council and trustees for the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project to establish the Centre of Excellence that would provide capacity building and ensure replication of the clean-up in the Niger Delta region, Uyi-Ojo pointed out that funding had not been an issue with the Ogoni clean-up.
His words, “Though the IOCs have not completely paid their dues up to date, we have been able to secure grants of $200m yearly for the past three years. So the money they have is a little short of half a billion, and they have not even been able to spend half of that.”
The Centre of Excellence will monitor the clean-up and provide opportunities and capacity for the Niger Delta, he explained.
“Besides being the priority request of the United Nations for the clean-up, the report of the Centre of Excellence will form the basis for the approval of the clean-up of the entire Niger Delta,” he added.
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