By Alex Okoro
OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has demanded a more accountable and transparent response from oil multi-national companies with respect to spills resulting from their operations in the Niger delta.
The House also lamented the recent multiple oil spills in Bayelsa state and urged the Nigerian Agip Oil Company to contain the spill in order to avoid fire outbreak and commence remediation efforts towards achieving an acceptable clean up.
The House resolved specifically that oil companies should publish monthly updates of oil spills in 5 national dailies and submit copies of the same to the legislature as well as disclose the usage of potentially dangerous equipment in their work.
These resolutions by the House followed a motion of urgent national public importance sponsored by Hon. Douye Diri (PDP, Bayelsa State). The motion which was entitled “severe pollution of the Niger Delta environment due to alarmingly high incidences of preventable oil spills from rundown equipment and ageing technology” was adopted by the House after debate.
While raising the motion, Diri noted that oil companies have continued to treat resolutions passed on same matter with disdain adding that if this is allowed to continue, the National Assembly will lose its respect before the public.
He expressed worries that these spillages result in the wanton waste of lives and properties adding that it also causes severe pollution to the environment.
“The lives and livelihood of the people of the Niger Delta has become too cheap and dispensable to the oil companies in their unbridled quest for profit, “he said.
He said that rather than own up to their culpability and do what is necessary, the spills are routinely attributed to illegal bunkering or sabotage adding that the impacted communities is left to their fate.
He continued: “Despite numerous promises that these multi- national oil operators have made to this Honourable House and impacted communities, no useful efforts or progress on tackling oil spills has been made.
“If decisive action is not taken to combat the reckless and criminal conduct of the oil industry and firm structures put in place to have the oil companies comply with international best practises in their operations, the Niger Delta will suffer irreversible environmental catastrophe.”