Minister of environment, Dr Mohammed Abubakar, has called for the review of procurement processes and payments on contracts awarded for the clean-up of Ogoniland, which he described as serious bottlenecks towards the successful implementation of the project.
He stated this in Abuja yesterday at the joint meeting of the governing council (GC) and board of trustees (BOTs) of Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP).
An online publication (not LEADERSHIP ), had on May alleged that President Buhari’s administration awarded contracts for the Clean-up of Ogoni land to unqualified firms.’
The report indicated that almost all the 16 companies awarded contracts for the first phase of the exercise by the Buhari administration were not experienced in the remediation of oil spills.
Abubakar noted that the issue of clean-up of Ogoniland was hinged on the need to safeguard the livelihood of Niger Deltans, saying that there was the need to consider the exact size of land to be cleaned in order to avoid further contamination and pollution.
He harped on the need for comprehensive actions in order to address the acute water shortage in Ogoniland, stressing that President Muhammadu Buhari, is passionate about the successful implementation of the project.
The minister, who is also the chairman of GC expressed worry over the slow pace of the clean-up exercise, just as he assured that the president would fully support the project.
According to him, “We should make the exercise work, else, it will be a shame to Nigeria and we must do something to salvage the livelihood of Ogoni people and other communities impacted by oil pollution.”
On her part, a member of GC, Prof Roseline Konya, blamed procurement processes and lack of communication from heads of environment in Rivers State on the delay in the implementation of Ogoni clean-up exercise.
Also speaking, the permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Mrs Ibukun Odusote, said the review of funding and procurement processes required urgent attention, adding that it would help in achieving the objective of the programme.
The HYPREP coordinator, Marvin Dekil, insisted that there were 21 contractors at 21 different sites currently working for the clean-up exercise, adding that plans were underway to speed up the provision of potable water in the community.
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