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Ogoniland Clean-up: Include NNPC in contract, Agbonayinma tells FG

A member of the House of Representatives from Edo State, Johnson Agbonayinma (APC, Edo) has urged the Federal Ministry of Environment to include the Nigerian…

A member of the House of Representatives from Edo State, Johnson Agbonayinma (APC, Edo) has urged the Federal Ministry of Environment to include the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the contract for Ogoniland clean-up.

Briefing journalists in Abuja on Monday, the lawmaker frowned at the non-inclusion of NNPC’s Department of Research and Development in the clean-up exercise.

“It is out of place for the Ministry of Environment to award contracts of that magnitude without including the Research and Development Department of an indigenous company like NNPC.

“I consider the action as a slap on well-meaning Nigerians, a misplaced priority. There must be an immediate review of the contracts so that Nigerians would know how it is conducted,” Agbonayinma said.

The lawmaker added that if NNPC has become so incompetent that it could not handle the contract, the Federal Government should consider dissolving the agency, since it is difficult for foreigners to understand the local terrain.

He further regretted that the Federal Ministry of Environment failed to weigh the implications of not including NNPC in the contracts, warning that members of the House of Representatives would not hesitate to look into the matter once they resume from recess in October 9.

Earlier in the year, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria signed a landmark agreement with International Oil Companies (IOCs) and representatives of Ogoni People, to clean up Ogoniland from crude oil pollution.

According to the terms of the contract, the Nigerian government and IOCs are expected to pay the sum of US$1 billion to the contractors in the next five years.