09 July 2014, Lagos – Nigeria loses about $2 billion to gas flaring annually which is an economic crime committed by the oil companies involved in flaring, Mr. Nnimmo Bassey, an environmentalist and a delegate at the ongoing National Conference, has said.
The member of the Committee on Environment of the conference, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), explained that the flared gas also had a negative impact on the health of people in the area, especially the prevalent of terminal diseases.
“This gas that is being flared in the oil fields equally impacts human health as it causes acid rain, cancer, breathing difficulties, skin and other diseases such as bronchitis and asthma and acid rain.
“Communities have experienced a drop in agricultural yields when you get nearer to gas flaring fields.
“You have to be as far away as at least one km to expect to have fair yields from your crop because some of this gas is being flared in communities.”
He said the committee had made far-reaching recommendations aimed at protecting Nigeria’s environment from danger and explained that the conference adopted most of the recommendations of the environment committee, which included outlawing gas flaring.
“We cannot continue to kill our people on the altar of cash; we need to have an environment where people will survive,” he said.