Saraki bemoans absence of law on oil spill

Demola Akinyemi

29 October 2012, Sweetcrude, ILORIN – CHAIRMAN, Senate Committee on Ecology and Environment, Senator Bukola Saraki, has vowed to ensure the enactment and enforcement of a law on oil spill to arrest the spate of spills in the Niger Delta and their dangerous effects.

Saraki, representing Kwara Central Senatorial District in the Senate, also told newsmen in Ilorin that there was need for a disaster management template that will ensure that aid to disaster victims got to them at the right time.

He said: “All we are asking for is that if you can respect the lives of others in another country, why not Nigeria? The law is meant to prevent what they call the punitive aspect.

“Also, the law will lead to a lot of stability in the oil-producing region, because being the source of oil should not mean being disadvantaged.

“We need to agree as a country to begin to do the right thing and once the oil companies know that we are serious, they too will buckle up.

“In fairness to them, today in Nigeria, there is no law that sanctions spillage, whereas if you go to a country like USA, whether a spillage is through sabotage or not, once it happens, there is a way of calculating what you will pay. That type of law makes you to do everything necessary to secure your pipes.”

Senator Saraki said it was unacceptable that the same oil companies operating in the Niger-Delta, who obey laws in other countries in Europe and America, tend to look the other way whenever they were involved in oil spills in the country.

Saraki dismissed allegations by some oil companies that the proposed bill on oil spillage, which he was championing, was punitive.

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  • It is such a shame that despite repeated calls by several public commentators including yours truly, this government has failed to put in place a coherent oil spill response mechanism or an emergency relief template for the benefit of the people whom they claim they represent. We certainly cannot continue to apply solutions with known outcomes, yet expect a different result.