Nigeria grants N3bn for Ogoni cleanup phase II

Timothy Choji, Abuja

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The Nigerian cabinet has approved a contract worth over three billion naira for the remediation of five more lots of the Ogoni cleanup exercise in the Niger-delta area of the country.

Minister of Environment, Suleiman Hassan announced this to State House Correspondents on Wednesday, while briefing them after Wednesday’s meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said: “The Federal Executive Council approved the award of contract for the remediation of five more lots for the cleanup that is going on in Ogoni land, as a result of the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP report that was submitted to the Federal Government.

“You will recall that in June 2016, the President launched the clean up exercise and we were there in January this year to handover sites to 16 companies and the work is in progress, we have made an appreciable progress. Today we have now awarded five more.

Giving reasons why the approval is coming in phases, the Minister said the first phase was within the Environment Minister’s approval capacity while the second batch needed Cabinet approval.

“The first 16 lots were within the threshold of the Ministerial Tenders Board but these five are far above the threshold of the Ministerial Tenders Board and that is why it had to come to the Federal executive Council and we are glad to say that we have secured approval and the contractors will be handed over the sites a s soon as it is practicably possible,” the Environment Minister explained.

He said the contract sum stood at N3, 039, 000, 000.

Nnenna.O