Muhammadu Buhari, the President of Nigeria has directed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and oil companies release fund within a very short period for the clean-up of Ogoni community.
The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachukwu made this disclosure Wednesday in the first part of an 8-Part Series Podcast that focuses on the Niger Delta and security.
He insisted that the President is committed to the success of the Ogoni clean up, noting that his Ministry was working with the Ministry of Environment to continue the exercise.
“The President is completely committed to the success of this. And we are working with the Ministry of Environment to continue the Ogoni clean up. The President has just directed that funds necessary for this must be released within a very short period of time so that this Ogoni clean up can actually move from the drawing board to actual practical reality. In fact, both the oil companies and NNPC to fund this sufficiently for us to move forward.”
The Minister added that the Ministry has commenced a Programme to engage Ogoni in order to secure the community buy-in and participation when there is any problem.
The plan to make communities have faith in the government, according to him, is not restricted to Ogoni.
Kachikwu added that government is currently working on a framework for a community based participation in oil and gas pipelines and oil and gas assets.
Following the realisation from inter-Agencies researches that challenges were still lingering in the Niger Delta even as over $40billion had been spent in the region in 15 years, the Ministry is working with the Office of the Vice President, the Ministry of Niger Delta, Niger Delta Development Commission and the Corporation to do more of capacity building and economic empowerment, he said.
He said that from the reports, the Ministry has seen the past expenditure and what is still available in the states of the region.
The Minister said that he has set up Technical Committees in Edo, Delta and Imo states that are working with the governors as the Chairmen to look at the volume of oil available and produced in the states, the opportunities, economic empowerment and the burning issues in the states.
The Committee, which has oil companies, the Ministry and Government Agencies as members according to him, will also carry out the assessment in other oil producing states in order to develop a blueprint for engagement and intervention in the region.