Against reports that the exercise put together by the federal government to clean up Ogoni land in Rivers State was a scam, President of KAGOTE, an acronym that encompasses all the four local government areas that make up Ogoni land, Dr. Peter Medee, has said that beyond the sincerity of the federal government to the clean-up, the funds for the programme which environmental experts say will take 30 years have been made available.
Dr. Medee, a senior Economics lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, told NAIJ.com that the federal government is now putting finishing touches to all the processes involved to receive the funds from the international donors resident overseas to commence the process.
Speaking with our correspondent in Port Harcourt, Medee said the funds for the clean-up will be donated by foreign oil firms and not the federal government, noting that the federal government is now completing all relevant processes to receive the money and begin the clean up process
He told NAIJ.com that the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari was down to earth, insisting that Buhari’s government has good intention for the Ogoni nation as he is committed to ensuring that the clean-up is done and done to all the standard needed.
“The present federal government has come with a sincerity of purpose and we are hopeful that with the effort so far, the place is going to be developed. The present government has made some effort in the area of trying to clean up the place.
“The federal government is down to earth, it is following due process and they are making sure that every bureaucratic process is followed. Every structure is being put in place.
“I can assure you that with the cooperation of the Ogonis, the enabling environment required for the cleanup is guaranteed. Everybody is ready to make sure the clean-up is done without hindrance”, Dr. Medee explained to NAIJ.com in his office in Port Harcourt.
He said all reports indicating that no work was going on in Ogoni land were false, even as he revealed that he is a member of the board of governors established to ensure the process was not compromised by whoever has a biased mind.
According to him, “after the flagoff, two major boards were set up, the Governing Council and the Board of Trustees for the clean-up. As we speak, we are making efforts to start up the cleaning processes in the impacted areas. It requires a lot of processes. We are not slacking at all.
“We will be receiving the funds from the international oil companies for the clean-up. The money is not coming from the federal government of Nigeria. The money will be contributed by the international oil firms. That money is ready. The federal government is now putting up the regulatory authorities to receive the money from the donors”.
“Things are going on there for the cleaning of Ogoni land. Things are happening. The process is on. Government is making sure that everything that needs be done to clean up Ogoni land is not compromised. We are working”, Dr. Medee said