Reps summon AGIP over 2006 oil spill | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Reps summon AGIP over 2006 oil spill

Posted: Apr 23, 2015 at 1:30 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

•Clean up: Youths threaten ExxonMobil

By David Odama (Abuja) and Idongesit Ashameri (Uyo)


The House of Representatives on Wednesday summoned Italian oil giant- AGIP, found culpable in the 2006 oil spillage in Delta State to appear before its committee on Environment.

This is to enable the House know the extent of the  company’s compliance with the Field “Joint investigation Visit (JIV)” report on a post-impact assessment conducted by representatives of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Delta State Ministry of Environment, Nigerian AGIP Gas Company Limited (NAOC) and Umu Iwerrie community.

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion by Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta) who informed the House that in September 2006, the Kwale 11 oil well-head, near the Okoai Gas Plant in Delta State, belonging to the NAOC suffered equipment failure, resulting to spilling of massive quantity of crude oil into the environment.

Ossai said the eruption caused the collapse of the integral earth crust, making the flow very rapid and spread fast.

“It was also observed that spillage, which lasted for over a month, overwhelmed the capacity of the waste and cellar pits, destroyed vast areas of arable and cultivable farmlands, aquatic lives, fishing nets, economic trees and vegetation, as well as contaminated the drinking water of Umu Iwerrie community of Aboh in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State.

“The post impact assessment conducted by representatives of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Delta State Ministry of Enviromnent, NAOC and Umu Iwerrie community contained in the field JIV report recommended a clean-up of the environment and payment of compensation to those affected.

“It is worrisome that during the negotiation that could have led to the payment of compensation, NAOC trivialised the fundamental issues at stake by not only refusing to pay the community’s claim of N360 million, but refused further dialogue and negotiation for over seven years now.

“Furthermore, the failure to clean up the environment, given the health implications of the pollution to the rural dwellers of Umu Iwerrie and the massive damage to their economic interests and socio-cultural values, is a flagrant abdication of corporate social responsibility on the part of NAOC,” he said.

The Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, in his ruling directed the IOC to appear before the environment committee after amending the initial prayers by Ossai while a yes voice vote was adopted.

Meanwhile, youths of Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State have asked ExxonMobil to immediately clean up all traces of Sunday’s oil spill or risk hostility.

To demonstrate what may befall the company, the youths on Wednesday went on a peaceful protest around the facility at Qua Iboe Terminal in Ibeno.

The spill occurred on Sunday, April 19, at Ibeno beach.

The protesters numbering over 1,000 blocked the entrance leading to QIT, Ibeno, grounding activities of the oil giant for two days now.

Addressing newsmen, President of Ibeno Youths, Obong Friday Ekong,  said the effect of the spill is harmful to human life.

Ebong warned the oil company to stop devastating the environment, and that the youths want urgent clean-up of the oil spill.

He said the fresh spill had caused hardship to the four oil communities in the area, and called on NOSDRA, to come to their aid, as the livelihood of people had collapsed due to incessant oil spill.

Responding, the company’s Manager, Communication and Media, Ogechukwu Udeagha, confirmed the incident and assured that appropriate measures have been taken to address the problem.