The procurement process for the cleanup of the Ogoniland has begun with the call for tenders for work on the project.
Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jubrill said that the call for tenders closed on Monday while the evaluation of the tenders was opened same day and would last for about four weeks.
We hope by the end of July contracts would be out and the contractors would move to site by August this year. A complete timetable from now to December for the activities to be carried out has been drawn, Jubril said.
The escrow agreement for the Ogoni Trust Fund was signed last Friday, a major landmark in the Ogoni cleanup project, which began with its flag off by Professor Osinbajo in June 2016.
Jubril said that the only project of the Ministry of Environment that needed to come to the council for approval was the Ogoni Cleanup Consultancy Services, which was approved in December last year.
According to him, other activities were within the limits of the ministry.
The minister said one of the interventions made by the ministry was on lead poisoning, which started in 2015.
He said the ministry made an emergency procurement of about N248million that enabled it to take care of the situation.
He said the remedial action taken to tackle the situation was the removal of the top soil that was contaminated by lead following the activities of artisanal gold miners in the areas where the lead poisoning occurred.
Jubril said the situation was completely remedied by January 2017 and the people returned to their normal lives.
The Environment Minister said that his ministry also highlighted to the cabinet the issue of the Lake Chad, which has shrunk from its position in the 1960s by about 10%.
He said the drying of the lake was a direct consequence of climate change and has led to migration southwards, affecting other communities.
He said collaborative efforts between the Ministries of Environment and Water Resources were ongoing to mitigate the effects of the receding Lake Chad.
The Minister said that he also report on wetlands located between four states, which provides a source of livelihood to people living in those areas, whose major occupation is fishing.
According to him, an invasive grass grew in the wetlands about 15 years ago, covering the wetlands.
He said a machine was acquired to clear the waterways of the grass after it was provided for in the 2016 Budget.
Jubril said the erosion control through the Nigeria Erosion and Water Management Project, a World Bank intervention of over $500million, started with the five states in the South East but has been extended to 19 states.
Source: Voice of Nigeria