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Oil Spillage: Nigerian legislators probe standards compliance, warn defaulting oil firms

Members of the House of Representatives

*House Committee threatens to issue a warrant of arrest against companies not honouring invitations to defend operations

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

In its oversight function to ensure compliance of oil companies with prescribed environmental standards of operations in the country, the Nigerian House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Oil Spillage in the Niger Delta region has challenged the Management of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), and demanded the full list of oil companies that have oil spill records from the agency.

Hon. Amiru Tukur, Chairman of the Committee, who issued the directive Tuesday, July 21, in Abuja, FCT, at the commencement of investigation hearing into all clean-ups and remediation by all the oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, vowed that the panel would execute its assignment to a logical conclusion, reports Nigerian Tribune.

The Committee Chairman frowned on the absence of most of the stakeholders summoned for the investigative hearing in the House of Representatives.

Hon. Tukur assured that necessary action would be taken to sanction all the government agencies that refused to appear at the investigation.

He demanded that Directors-General and Chief Executives of government agencies and oil companies operating in the oil-producing states provide the Committee with a list of defaulting companies that engaged in oil spills.

He, however, threatened to issue them a warrant of arrest for not honouring the invitations duly extended to them.

Other committee members, including Hon. Henry Nwawuba, Deputy Chairman, also assured the invited oil companies chief executives and invited stakeholders that the committee would discharge its duties without fear or favour.

Report, however, said that the Committee walked out Mr. Olubunmi Akinjide, Director of Oil Spills, as a representative of the Director-General of NOSDRA, insisting on the physical presence of the agency’s Chief Executive.

Mrs. D.D. Ufondu, a Director, who represented the Director-General of the Department of Petroleum Resources, informed the Committee that the agency had penalised oil companies that did not comply with the agency’s oil spill directives.

The agency has developed a template for monitoring of compliance with oil spills directives and supplied the committee with all their documents, explained the DPR.

Meanwhile, the committee insists that the regulatory agency must submit a list of oil companies that have failed to comply with clean-up directives by the agency thus far.

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