The Senate Committee on Environment yesterday said it will not hesitate to sanction oil companies that recklessly spill oil in the Niger Delta region.
Speaking at a two-day consultative forum for select members of the National Assembly Committees on Environment and Ecology, Climate Change and Civil Society Organisations, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment, Bukola Saraki, noted that laws in the oil and gas sector had become too obsolete to ensure strict compliance from the oil companies. He also lamented that oil spills have become too frequent in the Niger Delta, resulting in environmental pollution and degradation.
“Senate will not take it likely with oil operators who engage in reckless operations resulting in oil spills. We shall codify, amend, and establish new institutions where necessary, to save, secure and preserve our environment from oil spill-related pollution.
“In lieu of the recent incessant oil spills in the Niger Delta, it must be said that, as at today, only the oil in Navigable Waters Act CAP 337 LFN (1990) addresses the pollution of the sea and navigable rivers. We have worked to review this so as to deal with damage and protection of the country’s coastal-line and creeks from oil spills from burst pipelines or leakages from fixed and floating oil producing platforms as well as ballast and other pollutants from ships,” Saraki said.
He further lamented the environmental hazards from climate change and oil explorations and said if drastic steps were not taken, the coming century will see millions of people suffer the consequences.