In response to allegations raised by a Premium Times publication of May 5, 2019 that the Buhari administration awarded Ogoni cleanup contracts to unqualified firms, the Federal Ministry of Environment has stressed that it complied with the procurement processes and that competent organisations were selected.
In a statement made available on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 to EnviroNews by the ministry’s spokeman, Saghir el Mohammed, government attempted to clarify the capacity of the companies awarded contracts to carry out remediation works in the on-going clean-up of Ogoniland.
According to Mohammed, the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), in calling for International Competitive Bidding for the execution of remediation of 21 LOTS in Ogoniland, “fully complied with the procurement processes as contained in the Procurement Act of 2007”.
“The companies that came out successful in the exercise emerged based on merit having met the requirements in the Technical, Financial and Commercial Bids. The bid committee that evaluated the volumes of documents tendered by prospective companies painstakingly and rigorously verified every single claim of each company from the opening of bids through the technical to the commercial stages that finally culminated in the award of contracts,” he added, listing some requirements stated in the Expression of Interest (EoI) to include:
- Certificate of Accreditation of company with Nigeria’s National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA);
- Nigerian companies applying as part of a joint venture or consortium with Non-Nigerian companies must however provide all the above listed information/documentation and a memorandum of understanding.
The statement further reads: “Every company that won the remediation contract has competency in remediation and possessed the required documents and certifications to carry out remediation works in Nigeria. Basic Technology Nigeria Limited which was cited, has executed remediation contracts with Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited since 2007 to 2018. The Company has Certificate of Accreditation from NOSDRA and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), for oil spill clean-up and remediation. It also has a permit for use of bioremediation product known as Remediact. They are presently engaged in carrying out remediation work for another International Oil Company, the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC).
“Apart from their competence in related areas and having key technical staff with relevant knowledge in soil remediation, all of the companies have technical partners with requisite remediation experience. All the companies that participated in the HYPREP bid for the provision of remediation services were all qualified companies, and HYPREP in line with international best practices had to go for the most responsive bidders in line with the Procurement Act.
“We wish to state categorically that HYPREP and indeed the clean-up project is fully welcomed and supported by the Ogonis, and the isolated incident in K-Dere where HYPREP bus was burnt was a clear case of an attack by miscreants. The act was totally condemned by the entire Ogonis and the people of K-Dere who provided useful information to guide security agents in their investigations.
“The Federal Government made a pledge to the Nigerian people and indeed the international community that Ogoniland will be cleaned to the standards prescribed by the United Nations which is the reason it has engaged the United Nations Environment, formerly United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in a one-year contract (renewable) to advise and guide its operations in line with the recommendations in the UNEP Report and world best practice.”
The media report had listed firms like Mosvinny Nigeria Limited, Louizont Ferretti Enterprises Ltd., Rey & Reina International Limited, Shamsa Resources and Services Ltd. Pacrim Engineering Ltd., Newpal Nigeria Ltd and Earthpro Unique Integrated Ltd. as being unworthy to be selected.
But Mohammed added: “HYPREP, in compliance with the Federal Government Executive Order 5 which is aimed at growing local capacity of Nigerian companies, encouraged local companies to partner with remediation technical companies with proven track record during the bidding process. Thet notwithstanding, each company that participated in the bidding process signed a memorandum of understanding with its technical partners in line with sections p & q of the advertorial.”