Port Harcourt — In a bid to fast track the pace of the ongoing clean-up exercise in Ogoniland, the Federal Government. Friday, announced plans to reassess the project to enable critical changes that will accelerate the pace of work.
The Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar disclosed this while inspecting some of the clean up sites in Alode, Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Abubakar explained that he was on the sites to assess the level of work done by contractors and to ensure new contractors do not experience the obstacles and pitfalls being experienced in the 21 sites where work was going on.
He also solicited for more support from the people of Ogoni to make the project a success.
“Work is going on, but there is need for a comprehensive review and changes. We must undertake some changes for the project to be on track as we want it, so we can finish it as when due.
“The way it is looking, it is not going to be completed at the stated date, however, we are going to look at it critically and undertake the changes that needed to be taken.
“We have been to Geneva and we have discussed intensively with UNEP and we have agreed that there is need for reassessment of the position of the project and we intend to do that as quickly as possible.”
The Minister also expressed displeasure at the pace of work done so far, reiterating the need for a review, reassessment and critical changes.
He disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that the project is followed strictly according to recommendations in the UNEP report.
“I am not satisfied with the pace of the clean-up. We must ensure the project is done according to the specification of UNEP and ensure that the clean-up succeeds, the President is clear about this.
“UNEP has been re-engaged, we all know their capabilities and we must follow their recommendations. Wherever there is derailment in their specifications, we’re going to undertake certain critical changes.”
Asked about the kind of changes to be made in the projects, the Minister mentioned procurement and timeline for contractors.
“The method of procurement of certain things for this project. Then timeline, we must ensure that every contractor meets their timeline and we will keep track of that, to ensure the project is on track,” the Minister said.
Meanwhile, the second batch of remediation contracts has 36 lots and their hand over to contractors began Thursday as performed by the Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar.