Some Nigerians in the Diaspora have criticised the continued flaring of gas in Nigeria, blaming the multinational oil companies operating in the Niger Delta for the trend.
The North America correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes Aniedi Okure, the spokesman for the group protesting the removal of fuel subsidy back home, as saying that gas flaring was technically illegal.
Okure, who is the Executive Director of the U.S.-based African Faith and Justice Network, however, said that the flaring was commonly done by the oil companies.
``If the law were properly applied, the government could raise significant money from fees associated with this illegal flaring for much needed investment in health care, education and infrastructure.’’
Okure noted that the federal government had explained that it hiked the price of petrol from N65 per litre to N141 to raise funds needed for infrastructure development, but said that the oil firms should be the first to pay for the initiative.
The protesters chanted songs of solidarity against the fuel price hike as they displayed placards in front of the World Bank Headquarters in Washington D.C.
Okure said that over the years, the country’s infrastructure had not been properly maintained, adding that if that had been done, it would not have been necessary to adopt World Bank/IMF policies.
According to him, such policies are ``detrimental’’ to the socio-economic wellbeing of Nigerians.