The Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project on Monday opened a fresh bid to select 36 additional contractors for the remediation of oil impacted Ogoni communities in Rivers.
The addition of 36 firms would raise the number to 57 contractors hired so far for the clean-up.
HYPREP, under the Federal Ministry of Environment, opened the initial bid in September 2018, with 183 out of 400 companies scaling through to the next round of bid.
The remediation agency later selected 21 from the pre-qualified 183 companies to start clean-up of 21 oil impacted sites in Ogoniland.
Dr Marvin Dekil, Project Coordinator of HYPREP, said at the opening of Phase I, Batch II, bid in Port Harcourt, that Federal Government was passionate about the exercise.
He said: “We (have) started the process of remediating the less impacted sites in Ogoni by using simple remediation options to clean the sites.
“We started by awarding 21 slots and those companies are actively on site in the various local government areas covering Ogoni.
“Remediation works had commenced on 16 less complex impacted sites handed to the contractors in January.”
Dekil explained that 36 contractors selected at the end of the Batch II bidding process would be assigned to handle another set of 36 oil spilled sites.
The project coordinator said seven firms out of the 36 selected firms would carry out assessment of the oil spill locations.
He said: “This means the additional 36 contractors would join the 21 companies that are there already doing different things.
“Out of the 36, seven will specialise in assessment of the sites with focus on detailed remediation options.
“So, today is another milestone recorded in terms of the implementation of the remediation mandate on HYPREP. Soon, we will be going into complex sites.”
Dekil said HYPREP was using international best practices to select the best local firms for the clean-up exercise.
He faulted accusations that HYPREP concentrated only on the clean-up while abandoning other items in UNEP’s recommendations.
According to him, the remediation agency is working tirelessly to ensure that other recommendations are addressed simultaneously alongside the clean-up.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ogoniland is made of four local government areas, including, Eleme, Gokana, Khana and Tai.