…to re-engage N’Delta youth
Following incessant oil spillages and their attendant negative effects on the environment in the oil producing communities in the Niger Delta, the Federal Governmnet is considering an amendment to the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) Act for stringent regulation of the activities of the oil producing companies.
Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, who said the government has commenced the clean-up of the oil spill site in Nembe, Bayelsa State, made this disclosure Thursday at the weekly briefing organised by the Presidential Communication Team at the Presidential Villa.
Ikpeazu also disclosed that the government has perfected plans to provide alternative jobs for the youth of the oil producing communities so that they could move away from illegal bunkering and refining.
Commenting on the ongoing AITEO Nembe oil spill, the minister said her ministry, that of Petroleum Resources and the oil company involved were collaborating to address the challenge.
She said: “It goes beyond the oil companies giving out palliatives, they must put measures in pace to prevent such accidents from happening. They are also claiming that the spill was do due sabotage by the local communities.
“We are going to have a targeted approach to illegal bunkering, tampering with oil installation and artisanal mining in the Niger Delta to get alternative livelihood for the young people of the Niger Delta, so that they would desist from this because it is further polluting the environment.
“The situation has been brought under control. I got a brief from DG of NOSDRA who was out on the field. So, now, work has to start on the proper clean up.
“I got briefings through the Director of NOSDRA, and what I saw in term of the pollution, either through oil refining or illegal oil refining and otherwise- the devastation of the Niger Delta is massive. As we are cleaning up, what we are cleaning up is minute compared to the devastation going on.
“So, it is something that government needs to tackle headlong. I hope they would have put the picture on, it was like a Hiroshima site.”