By Desmond Ejibas
The federal government has held a pre-contract award meeting for Ogoniland clean-up to prepare ground for the take-off of the project by the last quarter of the year.
The government said it had concluded plans to commence the clean-up of Ogoni impacted communities.
The Minister of Environment, Mr. Ibrahim Jibril, made the announcement at the meeting which was organised by the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
Jibril, who was represented by Dr Ishayaku Mohammed, Senior Technical Assistant to the minister, said the deadline for the clean-up would be achieved.
The minister said that the Federal Government had concluded all processes outlined in the agreement, while funds for the project had been provided.
He said: “The stage we are in now is procurement process. We have 183 companies that are pre-qualified and have been asked to submit their documents to bid for contract.
“All bids are suppose to end on September 24 followed by financial evaluation. There is timeline for each process.
“We have matching orders that by the end of October, people should be seen on the field,” he said.
The minister said that an escrow account has been opened for the board of trustees of HYPREP with 177 million US dollars credited to the account.
Dr Marvin Dekil, Head, Project Coordination of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) said that the project had arrived at a defining moment that would be witnessed by the communities.
He said that contractors seeking to secure the project must have technical and financial competencies to qualify for the cleaning exercise.
“It is very important for the economy, environment and health of the people.
“It is one project that we cannot over-emphasised the importance. We are all here to make it succeed,” he said. (NAN)