Senator Bukola Saraki
Dele Ogbodo â€¨in Abujaâ€¨
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, Senator Bukola Saraki, has asked the Ministry of Environment, the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDARA) and Mobil to immediately furnish his committee with up-to-date information on the two recent oil spill incidents that occurred in Ibeno and Idoho areas of Akwa Ibom State.
Saraki in a statement, noted with displeasure that within the last one month, there had been reports of two oil spills within the proximity of Mobil Producing Nigeria and yet no official report was made to the Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology.
The frequency of the occurrence, according to him, calls for concern, adding that the Senate has expressed worry over the frequency of the spill and the lackadaisical attitude of the agency, Ministry of Environment and Mobil for not providing necessary information to the Senate committee to assist in carrying out its oversight function.
He stressed that the wanton degradation of the environment by oil companies necessitated the urgency to pass the NOSDRA Amendment Act 2006, which is currently undergoing conclusive stage of becoming a law.
He said: “It is only proper to update the law that will encourage all responsible parties to take extra care in reducing oil spills in Nigeria to the barest minimum.”
Saraki, while announcing the resolution of Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, stated that NOSDRA should immediately furnish it with information on the aforementioned spill areas including but not limited to the following: “The initial report on the incidents and responses made so far to clean-up and contain the spill, preliminary findings as to the cause of the spills and the volume and preliminary findings as to the responsible party.
“Findings as to the action of the responsible party to re-mediate the environment, preliminary findings as to action plan to caution the impact on the areas specifically affected and preliminary findings as to the impact on the livelihood of the communities so impacted.”