The Federal Government has engaged about 400 local and international companies for the cleanup exercise of oil pollution in Ogoni Land in Bayelsa State.
The Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibrin announced this at the Nnimmo Bassey National Colloquium on Monday in Abuja.
Jibrin also said that contractors will be mobilised to site by August or September this year.
He described Nnimmo Bassey an environmentalist, activist and a member of the Board of Ogoni Clean-up, who marked his 60th birthday, as a patriotic Nigerian, saying the government has developed a framework and timeline for the Ogoni clean up, which would last till December 2019.
The minister lamented that oil pollution in Ogoni land has led to the destruction of mangrove and aquatic lives in the area.
He, however, promised that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was determined to right the wrongs in the cleanup exercise.
“We have developed a framework and time frame that will take us to December 2019.
“A lot of broken promises have been made which made people to be suspicious even when we have assured them of our determination to clean the area.
“We are following up the framework religiously and we have engaged 400 companies, delineated 14 sites out of 26 and now doing the costing and procurement is just going on.
“We intend to move to the site on August or September by the grace of God, Jibrin said.
He said that the United Nations delegation arrived Nigeria last Friday and that 18 per cent of their discussion was on Ogoni issue, stressing that the government was under severe pressure to perform and will not let the Niger Delta region down.
Bassey, who is an architect by profession, co-founded Environmental Rights Action (ERA), a non-governmental organisation that focused on environmental rights advocacy in 1993.