Bayelsa Gives Agip Dec Deadline To Clean Up 1,000 Oil Spills | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Bayelsa Gives Agip Dec Deadline To Clean Up 1,000 Oil Spills

Posted: Sep 27, 2015 at 7:24 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)


By Igoniko Oduma, Yenagoa


The Bayelsa State government has asked the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to clean up the over 1,000 oil spills from the company’s facilities in the state before December 31, 2015.

In a letter to the management of NAOC made available to newsmen in Yenagoa at the weekend, the state government criticised the firm’s poor response to oil spill incidents in the state.

According to the letter dated September 18, 2015 and signed by the Commissioner for Environment, Iniruo Wills, fewer than 20 out of over 800 spills that occurred in 2014 have been cleaned.

Wills bemoaned the alarming frequency of spills from oil fields operated by Agip in Bayelsa without efforts to mitigate the impact of the pollution on the environment.

He observed that out of the over 200 spill incidents so far recorded in 2015 in the state from Agip’s oil platforms, no efforts were being made to clean and remediate the affected sites as stipulated by existing environmental laws.

“We have noted with dismay the alarming number of oil spills in Bayelsa State, with no commensurate efforts to clean them up and restore the affected environment and communities.

“In 2014 alone, well over eight hundred spills occurred in the land and swamp areas of your operations; yet a dismal figure of less than twenty sites were certified to have been cleaned, from our records.

“Over 200 spills have been recorded this year, just from your facilities in the swamp area within the state.

“Again, there seems to be no commitment or systematic plan on your part to clean up these sites, thus worsening the dehumanising environmental status that would not be tolerated anywhere else in the world.

“We, therefore, request your organisation/group to immediately initiate action in ensuring that all oil impacted sites in Bayelsa State are satisfactorily cleaned up before the 31st of December, 2015.,” the letter read in part.

“This is in furtherance of the Bayelsa State Government’s zero-pollution target and overall sustainable development plan for the State,” the commissioner said.