- Says agency seeking to cover up financial gaps
- Insists over $200million is stolen from cleanup funds
The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) says the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) is evading the invitation of the national assembly because HYPREP simply cannot defend its expenditure on the Ogoni clean up exercise. President of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke who spoke in Port Harcourt yesterday insisted that the cleanup funds have been looted by the management of the agency.. He said HYPREP was running away from parliamentary invitation because it needs time to cover up loot.
Nsuke also took a swipe at the national assembly saying that parliament had been slighted because several probes instituted by parliament have made no difference in the way the project is mismanaged and the report of parliament has not been made public. He said the national assembly cannot claim to be ignorant of the mismanagement of the cleanup funds noting that what is required now is action based on what is already known and not just oversight functions which appears to be turning into a routine activity.
“We think parliament’s oversight functions should improve the operations of the cleanup agency and correct abnormalities and we have seen several investigations into the cleanup exercise from the national assembly without any appreciable improvements in the operations of HYPREP.. If the national assembly will only investigate and those investigations are not impacting positively on the wellbeing of the people, then their usefulness becomes questionable”.
“We think the national assembly itself will have to accept some blame for the degrading attitude of HYPREP management towards its invitation because it has been barking but unable to bite,” Nsuke said yesterday.
The national assembly has investigated the clean up exercise and conducted inspections into the activities of HYPREP at least three times without any public report nor any change in the way the exercise has been managed. So, HYPREP appears to consider an invitation from parliament as usual” Nsuke said.
Nsuke stated that HYPREP cannot receive $1billion for a remediation project and in six years, the people cannot find drinkable water. He said MOSOP noted these gaps but HYPREP continued to defend its procedures until now when it has become quite glaring that the clean up funds have been looted.
Nsuke urged parliament to come strong on HYPREP if anything will change about the corruption that is going on in the cleanup agency. He noted that it was embarrassing and despicable to tolerate the looting of funds meant to restore a polluted environment and the government will seemingly turn blind eyes..
The MOSOP president called for a halt to further funding for HYPREP until a proper investigation is conducted and looted funds are recovered, noting that what is going on in HYPREP is unacceptable.