Home SOCIETY GIST COMMUNITY GIST SENATE DEMANDS REVIEW ON ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES OF BAYELSA OIL SPILLAGE

SENATE DEMANDS REVIEW ON ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES OF BAYELSA OIL SPILLAGE

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By Aishat Momoh. O.

The Nigerian Senate has passed resolutions condemning the oil spill at AITEO Eastern Exploration and Production Company Nigeria Limited’s Santa Babara well 1, OML 29 in Opu Nembe, Nembe Local Government Area, Bayelsa State.

As a result, the Senate directed the firm to “urgently seek, research, and deploy relevant highest level knowledge and technology to stop the spill and avoid further environmental damage, as well as restore the people’s life support system.”

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Senator Biobarakuma Degi Eremienyo (Bayelsa East) brought the issue to the Senate’s notice with a motion describing the oil spill as a subject of urgent public concern.

The Senate urged the relevant agencies to “undertake environmental impact assessments to determine the extent of the pollution with a view to undertaking remediation in accordance with internationally accepted standards,” according to a statement released on Wednesday by his Special Assistant (Media), Ebinim Omubo.

According to him, the Senate also decided that the National Emergency Management Agency should offer relief materials as soon as possible because the heinous tragedy has wreaked havoc on the health and well-being of the people in the host villages, which could be deemed disaster areas.

“During the presentation of his motion, Senator Degi Eremienyo said that the policy on divestments by multinational oil firms in oil and gas exploration and production is a positive development because it allows space for indigenous enterprises to invest and grow in the industry,” Omubo added.

Such opportunities, according to Eremienyo, should be given to indigenous companies that have demonstrated the necessary technical and financial competence, adding that after several failed attempts by AITEO to stop the continuous oil and gas spill, the field’s operators displayed a disappointing appearance of technical incompetence in their handling of the incident.

The Senator stressed that the level of ineptitude is sufficient to warrant regulatory action, such as the termination of AITEO’s operational license, in order to restore sanity to the oil and gas sector in response to the growing global clamor for environmental protection.

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