Federal Government Warns of Fraudsters In The Ogoni Cleanup

The Federal Ministry of Environment has issued a warning to the people of Ogoni and the entire Niger Delta region on the emergence of dubious individuals who will pose as Government officials, in order to extort money from communities in the Niger Delta, in the name of Ogoni cleanup.

The Ministry of Environment issued this warning through a statement signed by the Ministry’s press director, Alhaji Isiaka Yusuf. The statement reiterated that the Federal Government is undertaking the clean-up project in Ogoniland alongside other stakeholders in the oil industry, and it will not authorize any individual or group to collect money from people in the Niger Delta.

Read the full statement below.

Ogoniland Clean-up, FG Cautions against Fraudsters

“Following the Flag off of the clean-up of Ogoniland, and other oil impacted communities of the Niger Delta by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Federal Ministry of Environment has been consulting with the stakeholders in the Niger Delta with a view to ensure proper commencement of the clean-up project

However, It has come to the knowledge of the Federal Ministry of Environment that some dubious individuals may use the opportunity of the project to extort money from the unsuspecting people of the Niger Delta communities. This includes the forgery of Federal Government Agencies letters.

Without doubt, we wish to state that the Federal Government in collaboration with other stakeholders in the oil industry is funding the project. It has not and will not authorize or contract individuals, groups and or organizations to collect money from the good people of the Niger Delta on behalf of the government for the purpose of cleanup of Ogoniland and other oil impacted communities in the Niger Delta region.

In view of the foregoing, the ministry hereby warns that anybody, groups or organisations found extorting money from the people for the purpose of the Ogoniland cleanup project will be made to face the full wrath of the law

The General public is therefore requested to report anybody, group and or organization, collecting money from people for the cleanup exercise to the police or any other law enforcement agency.

The ministry, therefore, takes this opportunity to reiterate the Federal Government’s commitment in ensuring the transparent and successful cleanup of Ogoniland,’’

In a related development, Guardian Newspapers reports that the lack of funds may stall the actual start of the clean-up.

A source who is said to be from one of the oil companies was quoted by Guardian in the report, saying that there is no money currently set aside by the Federal Government, or any oil company for the clean-up.

“It is the joint venture partners that are supposed to come up with 90 per cent of the funding. It is not factual that any oil company has kept money aside to fund the cleanup. For the government there is implication for funding, NNPC has to come up with its share of the funding. There is no $1 billion anywhere that Shell has kept,” the source said.

Guardian also reports that the Ministry of Environment’s 2016 budget does not make any provision to cover the clean-up.

At the weekend, the Federal Government approved 23 members of Governing Council and Board of Trustees for the Cleanup. The members are expected to be inaugurated on Thursday.

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