BY ANAYO ONUKWUGHA, Port Harcourt
The Host Communities Network of Nigeria (HoCoN) has decried the huge discrepancy between the volume of gas flared as reported by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Gas Flare Tracker domiciled with the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).
HoCoN was established in 2007 by former executive director of Environmental Rights Agenda/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Reverend Nnimmo Bassey and late environmentalist, Oronto Douglas, to handle state of Nigerian environment from communities’ perspectives.
The group, in a communique issued at the end of its national general assembly held in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, said the huge discrepancy was causing economic loss to the nation and impoverishment of the host communities.
The communique, which was signed by HoCoN national president, Prince Barbs Preye-Pawuru and four others, called on the federal government to pay the people of Ogoni an ecological debt for decades of pollution and neglect of their polluted environment, displacement of the people and denying them justice.
The communique reads in part: “There is a huge discrepancy between the volume of gas flare reported by Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Gas Flare tracker which is domiciled with the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).
This cause economic loss for the nation and continues to impoverish members of the host communities. It was therefore unanimously recommended that: A comprehensive environmental audit of the state of Nigerian environment should be carried out by the Nigerian government with the help of HoCoN.”
It said Nigerian government should immediately halt the drift to full blown tyranny occasioned by the growing cases of suppression of the rights of the people of Nigeria, and that all cases of extraction should accompany EIA report. It called for a bill by states to revoke the licences of IOCs that pollutes the environment without adequate compensation to communities.
“Government should quickly wade into the farmers and herders crisis as a security risk with the effect to reduce food sufficiency in our various communities,” the communique added.