HomeEnvironmentSpeaker tasks regulatory agencies in oil-production sector on environmental protection

Speaker tasks regulatory agencies in oil-production sector on environmental protection


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 The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas has charged regulatory agencies in the oil production sector to ensure protection of the ecosystem by living up to their responsibilities.

Abbas said this at a public hearing on Environmental Damages in Oil Producing Communities, organised by the joint Committee on Environment, Petroleum Resources Upstream, Petroleum Resources Downstream and Climate Change.

Represented by the Deputy Minority Whip, Rep. George Ozodinabi (LP-Anambra), Abbas said that the hearing was to investigate the activities of the oil companies resulting to environmental degradation.

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“We therefore charge the regulatory agencies and other institutions of government to be alive to its statutory obligations of forestalling occurrence of these environmental damages by being proactive in their duties.

“Also as representatives of the people, we must ensure that the voices of those most affected by environmental damage are heard and respected.

“We have to listen to the fears that are faced by frontline communities, indigenous people, and marginalized groups who usually bear the brunt of environmental injustice.

“It is therefore, for this reason that the House mandated this committees investigate the environmental damage in oil producing communities caused by non-compliance to extant laws by oil producing companies,” he said.

Abbas said that the hearing provided an opportunity for citizens, experts, policymakers, and advocates to share knowledge and ideas on how to chart a course toward a more sustainable and resilient future.

The Chairman of the joint committee, Rep. Pondi Gbabojor (PDP-Delta) said that oil-producing communities had experienced environmental degradation and socio-economic marginalisation as a result of decades of oil exploration and exploitation.
” The bountiful natural resources should have been a source of prosperity and development, but in the stead of prosperity, these communities have instead suffered from pollution, land degradation among others,” he said.

He said that as a result of the menace, laws had been enacted and commitments made to rectify the situation.

“However, in spite of the laws and regulations enacted to safeguard our environment and the regulatory agencies of the government so established to address these concerns, the environmental damages in oil-producing communities still persist unabated.

“It is therefore, incumbent on us, as representatives of the people, to identify the erring organisations, hold those responsible accountable, and take decisive action to mitigate the living conditions of our constituents,” he said.

Gbabojor said that the hearing was not intended to witchhunt individuals but to have clarity on the matter that had been brought to the attention of the joint committees.

He frowned at oil companies that failed to honour the invitation of the committee saying that out of the 35 organisations invited; only six appeared while one asked to be excused.

He said that the companies affected should appear before the committee on May 8 for further investigation or risk the wrath of the committee.

The companies were the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd, Amni International Petroleum Dev.CO Ltd, Aradel Holdings Plc, Chevron Nigeria Ltd and Dubri Oil Company Ltd.

Others were Lekoil Nigeria Ltd, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, Moni Pulo Petroleum Dev. Nigeria Ltd, Newcross Exploration and Production Ltd, Shell Petroleum Dev. Co. of Nigeria, Shoreline Natural Resources Ltd, South Atlantic Petroleum Ltd, Seplat Energy and Total Energies.



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