Environment Ministry Defends Award of Ogoni Cleanup Contracts to Unqualified Firms

The federal ministry of environment has emphasised that the award of contract for the Clean-up exercise in Ogoni land followed due process.

This is coming on the heels of an online publication (not LEADERSHIP Newspaper), alleging that ‘Buhari’s administration awarded contracts for the Clean-up of Ogoni land to unqualified firms’.

The report alleged 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.

It also indicated that the bulk of the successful companies were set up for businesses such as poultry farming, cars sales, textile dealership and fashion, palm-oil production, building design, and construction.

The 16 companies are Louizont Ferretti Enterprises Ltd, Environmental Resources Managers Limited, Asonic Associates Limited, Mosvinny Nigeria Limited, Rey & Reina International Limited, Pacrim Engineering Ltd, Basic (Nigeria) Technology Limited, and Newpal Nigeria Ltd.

Others are Amazing Environmental Solutions International Limited, Earthpro Unique Integrated Ltd, Nautilus (Nigeria) Engineering and Construction Limited, Tiptree Intertrade Nigeria Limited, Navante Oil & Gas Company Limited, Secura Investments Limited, Shamsa Resources and Services Ltd, and Odun Environmental Limited which changed from Global Environmental Management Limited.

The Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) coordinator, Mr Marvin Dekil had earlier stated that a total of N714.45 million, which is 15 per cent advance payment for the remediation work was released to the companies.

Recall that the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) estimated that the Clean-up exercise would cost $1 billion, just as International Oil Companies (IOC’s) have partly paid the ministry of environment $180 million to kick-start the project.

The ministry however informed that HYPREPs request for International competitive bidding for the execution of remediation of twenty-one(21) LOTS in Ogoniland fully complied with the procurement processes as contained in the Procurement Act of 2007.

A statement signed by the director of press, federal ministry of environment, Mr Saghir el Mohammed and made available to LEADERSHIP quoted HYPREP as saying that, “Apart from the companies competence in related areas and having key technical staff with relevant knowledge in soil remediation, that they have technical partners with requisite remediation experience”.

The statement revealed that Ogoni people supported the clean-up project adding that the isolated incident in K-Dere where HYPREP bus was burnt was a clear case of an attack by miscreant.

The ministry hinted the entire Ogonis and the people of K-Dere condemned the incident and provided useful information to guide security agents in their investigations.