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Government mobilises N55 billion for Ogoni cleanup


Ogoni community

The Federal Government yesterday said it had got $180million (N54.9 billion) from international oil companies (IOCs) to commence the clean up of Ogoni land in Rivers State.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had in April sat over the signing of an Ogoni Trust Fund Escrow in Abuja where the oil firms and the people effectively participated.

One billion dollar is billed for the exercise in the next five years.

Briefing State House Correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Osinbajo, the Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jubril, stated that 21 companies had been selected to commence work in two weeks.

He noted that the money had been domiciled in an escrow account at the Standard Chartered Bank of London and would be managed by the Board of Trustees for the exercise.

The listed some of the contributors to include the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).

His words: “There is funding. Again, this is the first time government has done something. Because of the confidence that the oil companies have in the government and the governance structures in place, Ogoni Trust Fund was able to mobilise $180 million from oil companies.”

Also, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, told newsmen that council approved a N14 billion contract for the Odukpani-Akpet Central road project in Cross River State.

He said the section of the highway completes the link from Calabar-Itu all the way to Ogoja-Gakem.

The former governor of Lagos State revealed the approval of the cost revision memorandum for the Ilorin-Omuaran-Kabba road linking Kwara and Kogi states.

FEC equally sanctioned N272, 489, 280 for purchase of 400 pieces of Bareta assault rifles and ammunition for the Nigerian Prison Service.

The Minister of Interior, Gen Abdulrahman Danbazzau (rtd), said the weapons are to be delivered within 120 days for better security of inmates nationwide.

Similarly, approval was secured for the procurement and installation of Instrument Landing System (ILS) to aid pilots and planes on the runway.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, stated that the Abuja, Kaduna, Benin, Ibadan and Enugu airports were potential beneficiaries.

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