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National Assembly summons minister over Ogoni clean-up

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The National Assembly Joint Committee on Host Communities on Tuesday summoned the Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, to present the status of the Ogoniland clean-up project.

The Chairman of the joint committee, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, gave the directive at an interactive session with the Ministry of Environment and committee in charge of the project in Abuja.

The committee had earlier invited the minister to the public hearing.

But neither the minister nor the permanent secretary appeared before the committee at the session. Instead, a representative of the minister, Mr. Charles Ikeah, was present at the hearing.

President Muhammadu Buhari approved the contract for the Ogoni clean-up in 2018.

Degi-Eremienyo, who was displeased by the absence of the minister at the meeting, said: “We had extended the invitation to the minister, who is the chairman of the governing council on Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) but he has failed to appear before the committee.

READ ALSO: Nigerian govt rules out completion of Ogoni clean-up under Buhari

“The project coordinator of HYPREP was also invited, but he has failed to appear before the committee.

“This is not the first invitation. If he will not be able to attend this meeting, he should have communicated by himself or through the permanent secretary before today.

“I express my displeasure totally; I frown at the attitude of the minister and also the project coordinator in demonstrating constant disrespect and disregard for the institution of the parliament.

“We have invited them about three times and they evaded engagement with the parliament.

“For me it is an appearance of concealment of information to incapacitate us to go for effective discharge of our duties as a parliament, to oversee the activities of HYPREP.”

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