The Federal Government says it is planning to make critical changes on Ogoniland clean up with intent to accelerate the pace of the project.
The Minister of the Environment, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, disclosed this while inspecting some of the 21 remediation sites in Alode, Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State on Friday.
Abubakar said the Federal Government was worried at the slow pace of work by contractors handling the remediation sites.
He said: “We know that work is going on, but there is need for comprehensive review and changes that must be undertaken.
“We must make some changes for the project to be on track so that we can finish the project as at when due.
“Going by what we have seen the project is not going to be completed at the stated date.”
Abubakar said he decided to visit the sites to see first hand the progress of work as well as ensure the newly-hired contractors did not face obstacles at sites.
He said some changes that would be made included procurement and timelines for the remediation.
He said: “In our recent meeting with the United Nations Environment Programme in Geneva, Switzerland, we both agreed to reassess the project.
“We intend to do this as quickly as possible.
“We must ensure the project is done according to specifications for the clean up to succeed.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is clear about this.
“We all know UNEP’s capabilities.
“And as such, we must follow their recommendations to avoid derailment in their specifications.”
The minister solicited for more support from residents of areas to make the project a success.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Abubakar had on Thursday handed over 36 smaller remediation sites to contractors in addition to the 21 old sites.
Ogoniland comprises four local government areas in Rivers State: Eleme, Gokana, Khana and Tai.