HYPREP is a national embarrassment – MOSSOP
The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has described the government intervention agency responsible for the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoni, the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Programme (HYPREP) as a national shame and embarrassment.
President of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke passed this verdict on the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) in a chat with newsmen during an unscheduled visit to Ebubu, Eleme local government area. Nsuke said the corruption in HYPREP has seriously derailed the intentions of establishing HYPREP as an intervention agency to address the environmental crises in Ogoni.
Nsuke who described HYPREP as one of the most corrupt agencies in Nigeria said HYPREP was currently battling for survival having lost the goodwill of the people and now desperate to coverup her corruption and mismanagement of the Ogoni cleanup funds.
The MOSOP president said, in over three years, HYPREP has been unable to make any progress worthy of commendation. The Ogoni people still drink polluted water, no health care facilities are available and no opportunities for employment exist in Ogoni despite over $180million made available for HYPREP within the period.
He said the managers of HYPREP have not followed the UNEP report diligently and in good faith and the Ogoni people have lost every confidence in the work of HYPREP in Ogoni and in the entire cleanup implementation exercise as it is.
The UNEP report on Ogoni according to Nsuke was clear on its modalities for implementation and spelt out emergency measures which were the first to be implemented. The emergency measures included the provision of water for the people, a health audit amongst others. All these have not been done.
The UNEP report also required the establishment of an Integrated Soil Management Center which should handle contaminated wastes and a Center of Excellence which was to develop capacity of Ogonis for the cleanup programme. At the moment, it is unfortunate that HYPREP have no plan on how to deal with contaminated wastes even after contracts for the cleanup exercise have been awarded.
He further said, while HYPREP jettisoned the emergency measures which were to provide immediate relief for the people, especially the provision of good drinking water, it went ahead to award contracts to unqualified companies in which they, the cleanup managers had interests.
The MOSOP President strongly condemned HYPREP for mismanaging the cleanup funds and called on the government to commence a probe into the contract scandals that have been reported in HYPREP noting that a probe into the activities of HYPREP will not only exonerate the government from the corruption in HYPREP but also build public confidence and transparency in the Ogoni cleanup exercise.