GOVERNMENT SHORTLISTS 57 FIRMS FOR OGONI’S FIVE-YEAR CLEANUP

The Federal Government has shortlisted 57 indigenous companies to clean up the four local councils mostly affected by oil pollution in Ogoniland. They are Eleme, Tai, Gokana, and Kana.

Already, 21 firms had begun the remediation work to restore the people’s livelihoods.

Addressing newsmen yesterday in Abuja, Director-General of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Idris Musa, said besides the 21 entities, 36 others were undergoing procurement to bring the tally to 57 by December this year.

“The target date for completion of the cleanup is five years, but in terms of total remediation, it will take between 25 and 30 years for the land to fully recover,” he clarified.

Decrying illegal refining of petroleum products, the NOSDRA boss stated that the stakeholders in the region had committed to a pollution-free environment.

“International Oil Companies (IOCs) will ensure pipeline integrity, while the communities are to ensure there will be no sabotage,” he stated.

Musa hinted that his organisation was collaborating with law enforcement agencies to tackle pipeline vandalism, oil theft, and bunkering.

He said NOSDRA had supervised over 1000 spills nationwide, adding that the agency had also completed the Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) mapping of the nation’s coastlines, measuring 50 kilometers inland from Badagry in Lagos to Calabar in Lagos and Cross River states.

Meanwhile, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is fortifying security around oil installations amid protests by youths and contractors owed for executed projects.

Part payment of the N1.9 billion indebtedness to water hyacinth contractors had infuriated scores of youths who laid siege to the headquarters of the interventionist agency in Port Harcourt for days.

However, NDDC’s Acting Managing Director, Dr. Akwagaga Enyia, said that the ceaseless agitations necessitated the increased security of the commission’s facilities.

Opening a two-day training for in-house security personnel facilitated by the Nigerian Institute for Industrial Security (NIIS) yesterday in Port Harcourt, Enyia noted that the workshop with the theme, “Effective security surveillance, report writing and information management”, was to increase the capacity of the workers.

According to her, security agents are first-line gatekeepers, and as such, “must function in tandem with modern operational standards.”

In his presentation, NIIS’ Executive Secretary, Wilson Esangbedo, said that the training was to expose the security personnel to enhanced surveillance and information management in a corporate environment.

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