UNEP Report: Shell kick-starts Ogoni Restoration Project

Posted by News Express | 14 September 2015 | 5,161 times

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The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has set up a team on the restoration of Ogoniland as part of its efforts to implement the report of the United Nations Environment Prgramme (UNEP) on the restive oil-rich community in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.

The Ogoni Restoration Project being coordinated by SPDC’s Prof. Philip Shekwolo is already making appreciable progress in the discharge of its assignment, SPDC General Manager Igo Weli said.

Mr. Weli, who spoke at a seminar held over the weekend in Lagos, said that though the company abruptly stopped stopped oil production in Ogoni in 1993 due to access denial, “UNEC Report implementation is paramount to SPDC.”

“SPDC has initiated action to address all the recommendations directed to it in the UNEP Report as operator of the SPDC Joint Venture. For some activities further progress is dependent on outstanding actions to be taken by other stakeholders. This includes the establishment of satisfactory governance arrangements for the Environmental Restoration Fund,” Mr. Weli said.

He highlighted efforts being made by the oil giant to implement the report to include clean-up activities, empowerment programmes for Ogoni indigenes and daily helicopter surveillance as part of a set of actions to check the breaching of oil pipelines. “We have closed down 16 of the 22 recommendations addressed to Shell, 5 actions are currently ongoing while one is pending,” he stated, identifying the pending action as SPDC contribution to the $1 billion Ogoni Restoration Fund advised by the UNEC Report.

Mr. Weli stressed that even though only four actions are assigned to the Ogoni Community, these are key recommendations as they involve taking a pro-active stand against theft and illegal refining as well as allowing access to clean up spills. “It does not make sense pouring a lot of money into cleaning up oil spills only to have fresh spills as a result of illegal oil bunkering,” he said.

He reassured that SPDC is fully supporting the implementation of the UNEP Report but made it clear that “Government will lead the implementation while Shell and other stakeholders will queue up behind it.”

In her remarks, SPDC External Relations and Communications Manager, Sola Abulu, stressed that “the role of government is central and extrmely critical to the implementation of the UNEP Report.” On the $1 billion Ogoni Restoration Fund, Mrs. Abulu appealed to the Ogoni to realsie that “this money is meant for the restoration of the environment, not to be shared to individuals.”

•File Photo shows SPDC General Manager Igo Weli delivering a speech.

Source: News Express

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