The Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology has demanded from NOSDRA, Ministry of Environment and Exxon Mobil Oil Company to immediately furnish it and the general public with up-to-date information about previous Oil Spills incidences and in particular the two most recent Oil Spills that occurred in Ibeno and Idoho areas of Akwa Ibom State.
It will be noted that within the last six Weeks, there has been media reports of two Oil Spills within the precincts of Exxon Mobil Nigeria Operations in Akwa Ibom State. There is a growing impression today that majority of this spills are the result of sabotage. However, with the recent spills happening deep offshore, its becoming evident that there is more to this than meets the eye. No formal reports has been made to the committee and general public as to the exact cause, magnitude of the spills, action being taken to clean up and re-mediate the affected areas and most importantly, arrangement of compensation for the affected communities.
Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology has expressed the worries of the committee and decried the frequency of this spills and the lackadaisical attitude of the agency, Ministry of Environment and Exxon Mobil Nigeria to provide necessary and adequate information that will enable the committee have a first hand assessment of the incident and provide grounds for meaningful action.
The committee stresses that this state of affairs further demonstrates the urgent need for the immediate passage of the NOSDRA AMENDMENT BILL as only proper and up-to-date legal framework that can encourage and compel all parties involved, both on the part of the Government and Operators to ensure the containment of incessant Oil Spills in Nigeria. Ensuring that this menace is brought down to the barest minimum and where it happens, that proper clean up and re-mediation exercise are carried out.
Senator Saraki, while stating the position of Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, stated that as representatives of the people, the committee demands that NOSDRA should immediately furnish it with information on the aforementioned spill areas including but not limited to the following:
1) The initial report on the incidents and responses made so far to clean-up and contain the spill.
2) Preliminary findings as to the cause of the spills and the volume.
3) Preliminary findings as to the responsible party.
4) Preliminary findings as to the action of the responsible party to re-mediate the environment.
5) Preliminary findings as to action plan to cushion the impact on the areas specifically affected.
6) Preliminary findings as to the impact on the livelihood of the communities so impacted.
Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki (CON)