By: Bamidele Fashube
The Minister of Environment, Mohammed Mahmood Abubakar on Tuesday, disclosed that International Oil Companies (IOCs) contributed $1 billion towards the ongoing Ogoniland cleanup exercise in the southern part of Nigeria.
Mahmood stated this at a briefing on the Ogoniland cleanup in Abuja.
While fielding questions from journalists, the Minister stated that although the exercise is a year behind schedule, “this is not really uncommon, not what we wanted but it happened, but what we don’t want to rush because we are dealing with highly toxic chemical, when we certify it clean, it must be clean, that’s some of the reason for the delay but we are catching up.
“If you see what happened in couple of years, you will see that a lot of progress has been made, lots of ground has been covered.
“On quality of work, they are of standard, thats why I said those portion that are said to be slightly above our own acceptable and international level were returned to the contractors to do it again”.
Mahmood further disclosed that United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP) has taken over the greater percentage of the project at no cost adding that the Ministry only gives technical advisers.
He added that 69 lots were delineated out of which 21 has been remediated.
“I assure you very soon, we will have more lots and also more water will be coming very soon”.
“Our challenges is newness in the kind of operation from us and the host communities, also issues of land ownership and traditional title issues”. Mahmood stated.