PRESS RELEASE: 10 years after UNEP Report – CSOs Score Card on Implementation

Today 4th August, 2021 is the 10th year anniversary of the submission of the UNEP Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland Report to the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2011.

The report was a crystallization of the many years of campaigns and agitations on the state of the environment of not just Ogoniland but the entire Niger Delta by environmental justice campaigners led by the iconic figure late Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa.

The report among others revealed the extent of environmental contamination and threats to human health with drinking water pollution in some parts of Ogoniland so serious that immediate emergency actions were needed. The report further revealed that full environmental restoration may take up to 30 years if all polluting of the area is stopped before the clean up. The report also called for an initial USD1Billion fund to kick start the clean up among others.

After years of playing politics with the cleanup of Ogoniland as directed in the UNEP Report, in 2016 Federal Government approved the implementation of the report and on 2nd June 2016, President Muhammadu Buhari through the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo flagged off the cleanup of Ogoniland.

Since the flag off with its attendant fanfare, the government has to its credit in this direction the establishment of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) with the mandate to remediate the environment and restore the livelihood of the people. The agency was saddled with the responsibility of coordinating, overseeing and managing the clean-up implementation process in accordance with the recommendations documented in the UNEP Report.

With the establishment of the HYPREP, the Ogoni people and Nigerians at large thought that action will begin immediately especially the emergency recommendations but alas, part of the emergency actions embarked upon by HYPREP was the mounting of signposts to warn of the polluted areas.

With the inauguration of the governance structures of HYPREP and at some point, release of some funds to them, the pace of work did not improve as sites were only identified and demarcated for clean up and handling of soil remediation activities, with contractors mobilized to oil impacted sites without addressing issues related to emergency measures as recommended in the UNEP Report. The emergency measures include Provision of Portable Drinking Water for the people, Audit of the Health of the People, addressing livelihood issues especially those related to youths involved in acts of oil theft and artisanal refining, etc. Other significant recommendations include Construction of Contaminated Soil Management Centre, Building of Centre of Excellence. HYPREP had earlier advertised for these measures, received biddings but swept them under the carpet and/or abandoned them completely and instead, went ahead to request for new applications for cleanup and awarded contracts.

Regrettably, not all the sites have been certified cleaned and completely remediated till date.

For an emergency measure of water provision, the federal government only in March, 2021 (close to ten years after), in a ceremony led by the Honourable Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar flagged off six water projects as part of the clean-up of Ogoniland activities!

CSOs and environmental justice campaigners in commending the federal government for mustering the political will to flag off the clean-up of Ogoniland, however calls for urgent and expedited action as what is true of the pace of work 5 years after the flag off exercise can only be likened to the leg movements of millipedes!

Environmental justice campaigners are afraid that if the current sluggish pace of work is maintained, the purpose of the cleanup would have been defeated because pollution would have moved further down beyond the depths first envisaged and in other cases, there could be re-pollution and contamination of sites not properly cleaned or abandoned. Also, other actions like the water project and the needs assessment being undertaken now should have been done much earlier than this as emergency actions.

We therefore call on the government to take the lead and organize other stakeholders to mandate the execution of the UNEP recommendations to the letter – giving it the required speed. By extension, environmental assessment of the entire Niger Delta should be carried out with the aim of cleaning up the region.

On the basis of the above, the government is scored below pass mark so far. Believing that improvements are possible with a view to correcting the situation and gaining the support and goodwill of the people for a better environmental deal for the Ogoni, the Niger Delta and the Nigerian nation, demand thus:

  1. The immediate audit of the cleanup process to evaluate progress made vis-à-vis the timelines and recommendations of the UNEP report
  2. The identification and mapping of the entire polluted Niger Delta communities and elsewhere in Nigeria for cleanup
  3. There should be health audit in the whole of Niger Delta communities and elsewhere where oil and gas and other forms of extraction is taking place.
  4. The provision of portable drinking water for the people. This was part of the emergency measure and it has not been provided till now even-though the flag off of six water projects has been done, the people are yet to see the water flow 4 months after.
  5. The Construction of Centre of Excellence and Integrated Contaminated Soil Management Centre which HYPREP cannot say they lack funds to do. HYPREP has enough funds to do this.
  6. HYPREP must utilize and invest immediately the funds for the provision of alternative livelihoods for youths involved in artisanal crude oil refining in the area to stop re-pollution, including, empowering other youths engaged in legitimate endeavours to avoid the temptation of engaging in illegitimate businesses.

We call on men and women of goodwill across the world to join hands with the people of Ogoniland, Niger Delta, Nigeria and environmental justice campaigners to demand that the oil companies involved in the polluting of Ogoniland and the Niger Delta must not run away from the havoc they have caused by divesting from the polluted areas but must first clean up their mess and put down a Niger Delta Environmental Restoration Funds of a minimum of USD100Billion!


  1. Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria – Chima Williams
  2. Health of Mother Earth Foundation – Nnimmo Bassey
  3. Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa – Akinbode Oluwafemi
  4. Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre – Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface
  5. Lekeh Development Foundation – Nbani Friday Barilule

The statement is further endorsed by:

  1. Ogoni Peoples Assembly – Rev Williams Probel
  2. Young Professionals in Policy and Development – Nnamdi Fred Ifechi
  3. Peace And Development Projects – Francis Abayomi
  4. Center for Sustainable Development Initiative – Emeka Johnson
  5. Neighborhood Environment Watch Foundation – Kelechukwu Okezie
  6. Socio Economic Research and Development Centre – Tijani Abdulkareem
  7. Community Development Advocacy Foundation – Benin Richard
  8. Foundation for Conservation of Nigerian Rivers – Irikefe V Dafe
  9. ANPEZ Centre for Environment and Development – Everest Nwankwo
  10. Egbema Voice Of Freedom – Evaristus Nicholas
  11. Association of Women Farmers of Nigeria – Joan N. Obazee
  12. African Network for Environment and Economic Justice – David Ugolor
  13. Org for the Sustainance of the Nig Environment – Angela Okoye
  14. Foundation for Good Governance and Social Change – Austin Osakue
  15. Policy Alert – Nneka Luke-Ndumere
  16. Community Forest Watch – Ajele Sunday
  17. Responsible Citizenship and Human Development Initiative – Dudu Manuga
  18. Host Communities Network of Nigeria – Prince Barbs Preye Pawuru
  19. Niger Delta Coalition of Coastal Communities – Donben Donyegha
  20. International Peace and Civic Responsibility Centre – Prince Chris Azor
  21. Family Welfare Foundation – Dauseye Torki
  22. Niger Delta Development Initiative – Peace Bathuel
  23. Kallop Humanitarian and Environmental Center – Anthony Aalo
  24. Peace Point Development Foundation – Umo Isua-Ikoh
  25. Ethics and Corporate Compliance Institute of Nigeria – Chike Jideani
  26. One Love Community Development – Agboro Andrew
  27. Community Initiative for Enhanced Peace and Development – Egondu Esinwoke-Ogbalor
  28. Get a Life Advocacy and Advancement Initiative – Happiness Ntuenibok
  29. Women in Extractives – Faith Nwadishi
  30. Centre for Transparency Advocacy – MacDonald Ekemezie
  31. Network on Good Governance – Peter Nwadishi
  32. Centre for Human Rights and Social Advancement – Yusha’u Sani Yankuzo
  33. Environmental Management and Disaster Risk Reduction Institute – Steve Ogbolu
  34. Social Action – Vivian Bellonwu
  35. Network for Justice, Equity & Fairness –  Ilofua P. Igbuan
  36. Citizens information and Development Initiative – Okorite Queenet Bob-Manuel
  37. Relief International Africa – Green Isaac
  38. Rivers Community Content Initiative – Henry Eferegbo
  39. Social Accountability and Environmental Sustainability Initiative – Nwogwugwu Bright
  40. Christian Foundation for Social Justice and Equity – Jide Afolabi
  41. Pius Dukor Foundation for Community Development and Advancement – Pius Dukor
  42. Human Rights, Justice and Peace Foundation – Cassius Ukwugbe
  43. Centre for Human Rights and Wholesome Society – Chuka Okoye
  44. Centre for the Advancement of Children and Womens’ Rights – Naomi Onuoha
  45. African Centre for Human Advancement and Resource Support – Amaka Biachi
  46. Institutional and Sustainable Development Foundation – Earnest Oji
  47. Socialist Labour – Biodun Olamosu
  48. Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law – Courage Nsirimovu
  49. Urban-Rural Environmental Defenders – God’spower Martins
  50. Greenleaf Advocacy and Empowerment Center – Nne Umoren
  51. Foundation for the Conservation of the Earth – Pàtrick Chiekwe
  52. Media Awareness and Justice Initiative – Okoro Onyekachi Emmanuel
  53. Eco Defenders Network (Middle belt region) – Shehu Akowe
  54. WastePlus Environmental Services – Veronica Agana
  55. BRACED Union, Edo State Chapter – Francis Akhigbe
  56. Masses Interest Coalition – Henry Ibhafidon
  57. Rivers Network of NGOs – Mina Ogbanga
  58. Visible Charity Global Foundation – Alexander MaQuez
  59. Ogoni Youths Development Initiative – Imeabe Saviour Oscar
  60. Ofure Centre for Peace and Development – Sylvester Okoduw
  61. Centre for Human Rights Health Ethic Harmony and Livelihood Development – Dandyson Harry Dandyson
  62. Rivers Indigenous NGOs & Civil Society Network – Tombari Dumka-Kote
  63. Centre for Justice, Empowerment & Development – Maureen Udeagha
  64. Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People MOSOP – Nwigbalor Gideon Gad
  65. Final Push (Nig) Movement – Friday O. Ogierhiakhi
  66. Foundation for Environmental Rights Advocacy and Development – Nelson Nnanna Nwafor
  67. Center For Rural Emancipation Economic & Social Development – Christian C Okororie
  68. Child and Green Foundation – Opuda Sotonwari
  69. Sunshine Progressive Youth Alliance – Joel Samuel Feyisola
  70. Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre – Emem Bridget Okon
  71. Rural Health and Women Development – Regina Fabian
  72. League of Queens International Empowerment – Idongesit Alexander
  73. Alauchi Women Development Initiative – Glory Alexander
  74. Gbolekoro Women Organization – Cynthia Bright
  75. Egi Women Human Right Environmental Justice Initiative – Precious Ibegwura
  76. Uyo Iban Amplifier – Okoho Ene
  77. Green Alliance Nigeria.

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