The Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar says International oil companies have so far contributed about one billion dollars for the implementation of Ogoni clean-up project.
The Minister made this known at a press briefing organised by the Ministry in Abuja on clean-up of Ogoniland.
According to Abubakar, the remediation of 21 lots of phase one batch has been cleaned while 17 lots were completed by Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP)
He said that 10 out of the 17 lots were closed-out by National Oil Spill Detection Agency (NOSDRA), adding that the certification sampling of three lots for close-out was completed.
The Minister said while the other three are awaiting certification sampling for close-out by NOSDRA, the remaining five, which are yet to be completed by HYPREP, are at various stages of completion.
He added that the 36 remediation contracts comprising two project activities, namely soil remediation works, 29 lots, and tier two assessments of groundwater works, seven lots, were awarded in February 2020.
He however said due to the global Coronavirus pandemic in the first and second quarters of 2020, activities preceding mobilisation of these contractors to site were slowed down.
The minister said the Federal Government has also inaugurated the construction of six water schemes in March 22 at Bori, Khana Local Government Area (LGA) of Rivers.
He said that the sites were Bori/Kpea Water Scheme in Khana Local Government Area Barako/Bori-Dere/Kpea Dere water scheme in Gokana LGA.
Others as Terabo water scheme in Gokana LG Area, Korokoro/Nonwa water scheme in Tai LGA, Alesa water scheme in Eleme LGA and Ebubu/Nsisioken/Ogale water scheme.
He said that rehabilitation and construction works had started in all the sites.
Abubakar said that about 882 youths in the communities were engaged by batch one remediation contractors while additional 1,118 youths were also engaged by batch two remediation contractors.
He said International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the stakeholders Democracy Network (SDN) trained 15 youths from the four LGAs of Ogoniland.
He said that at the end of the three months intensive training, the trainees fabricated machines used to set up a cassava processing facility at Korokoro, Tai LGA.
Abubakar said that strategy for the restoration and management of degraded mangrove vegetation involved planning, decision making and implementation of the restoration programme.
The minister said that the programme was based on Shoreline Assessment Technique (SCAT) outcome, adding that the SCAT would provide information and data on the extent and depth of contamination.
He said the SCAT would offer guidance on the most suitable technique for the clean-up of the impacted shoreline to ensure the reduction of `environment harm.
He said the selected technique would ensure environmental benefit for both flora and fauna were achieved.