15 October 2011, Sweetcrude, Brussels – Nigeria has solicited the support of the European Union to prevail on multinational oil firms operating in the country to comply with global best practices and end gas flaring in the Niger Delta region.
Special Adviser to the Nigerian President and Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Hon Kingsley Kuku, made the appeal at the EU Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, during a meeting with the Development Committee.
Expressing the determination of Nigeria to end gas flaring, he said the governmnet was committed to a cleaner environment in the country’s main oil and gas producing region.
“Every oil multinational in the Niger Delta flares gas. In some communities, the site is close to the homes of the people. When they talk, the military and the police are there. These things must stop. President Goodluck Jonathan is committed to stopping such practices and that is why he is tasking the people who understand these problems to solve them.
“I’m using this opportunity to appeal to the leadership and members of the European Parliament (as well as) your committees concerned with issues of underdevelopment in sub-Sahara African and in particular Niger Delta, to bring to the fore the unhealthy practices of the oil and gas industry in the region.”
Kuku commended the facilitator of his visit and president of Rotterdam-based Hope for Niger Delta Campaign (HNDC), Comrade Sunny Ofehe, for his commitment to issues on the Niger Delta and the environment, urging him to remain undeterred.
The government is yet to give a fresh deadline to the oil firms to end flares. Previous administrations had been compelled to shift the deadline at the last minute due to pressure from the oil multinationals and their home government.
Nigeria, the world’s eighth largest producer of crude, flares the highest amount of natural gas in the world after Russia.