Burning Of Illegal Refineries: Reps Begin Investigation Of Niger-Delta JTF | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Burning Of Illegal Refineries: Reps Begin Investigation Of Niger-Delta JTF

Posted: Nov 4, 2015 at 2:47 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Rotimi Akinwumi,


The House of Representatives, Tuesday announced the commencement of investigation into activities of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger- Delta area over the burning and destruction of equipment seized from illegal refineries operators.

The action of the JTF was said to have aggravated environmental hazards in the area which has been grappling with environmental degradation for decades.

The ad hoc committee raised by the House to undertake the probe, headed by Hon. Sule Nasir Garo (APC Kano) disclosed at a press conference that it has invited the JTF, management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, as well as the affected communities, to testify.

One of the intentions of the House resolution was to “bring an end to the despoliation of the Niger-Delta environment through the burning of equipment confiscated from illegal operators of refineries.”

Others invited to give insight before the committee include the Federal Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Environment, who are to intimate the committee with the steps they are taking ” to forestall further despoliation of the Niger Delta environment.”

While setting up he committee, the House had noted that communities in the Niger Delta ” routinely suffer from the effects of wanton burning and destruction of oil tools and equipment sized from operators of illegal oil refineries which are usually done without recourse to international best practices.”

The House also said the actions of the JTF “has greatly polluted the environment and waters in the area and in the process destroyed farm lands and killed fishes, thereby jeopardizing farming and fishing, which are the mainstay of the people of the Niger- Delta area.”


The adhoc committee was also mandated by the House to investigate the fire outbreak in Azuuama Community in Bayelsa State on July 9, 2015 which was allegedly caused by the use of dilapidated infrastructure and equipment by Nigeria Agip Oil Company and resulted in the death of 14 persons.

According to the lower parliament, the Garo- headed Committee should investigate the activities of AGIP ” with a view to ensuring that it carries out improvement of its facilities to forestall any such further incidents in the future and also determine the circumstances that led to the death of the 14 persons in Azuzuama Community.”