Emeka Ihedioha, the Deputy Speaker House of Representatives, has said that the legislature will take keen interest in and put in place effective oversight mechanisms to monitor the restoration of the devastated environment of Ogoni land and other communities affected by oil spills in the Niger delta.
While acknowledging the submission of the report of the United Nations Environmental Programme, UNEP, on the Ogoni Oil Spill as a first step in redressing the despoliation of affected communities, Ihedioha cautioned against attempts to pass the buck by concerned corporate operators stating that “all those involved must take full responsibility for the consequences of exploration activities as it is the case in developed countries where some of them are headquartered.”
Recalling the rapid global response that greeted the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in the United States of America last year, Ihedioha expressed hope that the federal government would waste no time in driving an implementation process that would address the grave environmental issues raised in Ogoni land and other areas of the Niger delta.
Honourable Ihedioha expressed the unwavering commitment and focused determination of the House as representatives of the people of Nigeria, to ensure that the principles of international best practices and values of good corporate governance are brought to bear in the oil and gas industry in the overall interest of host communities and the larger Nigerian nation.
“In this regard, the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will be given expeditious attention when the House resumes from its recess, among other results-driven measures that would be taken to ensure that corporate actors and relevant government departments and agencies in the oil and gas industry do not shirk their responsibilities to reclaim and protect the environment in which they operate and as well as improve the lives and living conditions of the inhabitants,” Ihedioha said.