Bayelsa Gives Agip December Deadline To Clean Oil Spills | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Bayelsa Gives Agip December Deadline To Clean Oil Spills

Posted: Oct 1, 2015 at 12:08 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Igoniko Oduma


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

In a letter to the management of NAOC made available to newsmen in Yenagoa at the weekend, the State Government frowned at the firm’s poor response to oil spill incidents in the state. The letter dated September 18, 2015 and signed by the Commissioner for Environment, Iniruo Wills, said that less than 20 out of over 800 spills that occurred in 2014 had been remediated and cleaned.

Wills regretted the alarming frequency of spills from Agip oil fields in the state, noting that adequate efforts had not been made 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, no efforts were being made to clean and remediate the impacted sites as stipulated by existing environmental laws.

The letter read in part: “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 two hundred 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 dehumanizing environmental status that would not be tolerated anywhere else in the world.

“We therefore request your organization/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 government further requested Agip to come up with a clean-up plan and submit same to the state Ministry of Environment before October 30, 2015. “You are to please present to the Bayelsa State Ministry of Environment before the 30th of October, 2015 an initial work plan for this comprehensive cleanup programme.

“The Ministry intends to enforce this in collaboration with other stakeholders and regulatory authorities. This is in furtherance of the Bayelsa State Government’s zero-pollution target and overall sustainable development plan for the State,” Wills stated.