Communities in Ogoni in Niger Delta affected by oil spill are still waiting for the clean-up to commence.

Months have past since the clean-up plan was announced during one of the visits of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to the region.

On Tuesday, the Federal Government said it concluded plans to commence the clean-up of Ogoniland on or before end of last quarter of 2018.

Minister of Environment, Ibrahim Jibril, gave the assurance at a Pre-contract Award meeting organised by the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.

Jibril, who was represented by Dr. Ishayaku Mohammed, Senior Technical Assistant to the minister, said the deadline for the cleanup would be achieved.

According to the minister, the Federal Government had concluded all processes outlined in the agreement, while funds for the project had been provided.

He said: “The stage we are in now is procurement process. We have 183 companies that are pre-qualified and have been asked to submit their documents to bid for contract.

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“All bids are suppose to end on September 24 followed by financial evaluation. There is timeline for each process.

“We have matching orders that by the end of October, people should be seen on the field".

The minister said that an escrow account had been opened for the board of trustees of HYPREP with $177 million credited to the account.

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Dr Marvin Dekil, Head, Project Coordination of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) said that the project had arrived at a defining moment that would be witnessed by the communities.

He said that contractors seeking to secure the project must have technical and financial competencies to qualify for the cleaning exercise.

“It is very important for the economy, environment and health of the people.

“It is one project that we cannot over-emphasised the importance. We are all here to make it succeed,” he said.