18 August 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – THE Nigerian Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology says it would be shutting down any oil facility found to have been responsible for oil spill in the country.
Reacting to two separate spill incidents reported in Nigeria within a week, chairman of the committee, Senator Bukola Saraki, condemned what it described as “casual approach and inconclusive strategy being used by responsible stakeholders whenever there’s an oil spill”.
The first spill reportedly occurred last Sunday along the coastline of Ibeno in Akwa Ibom State near ExxonMobil’s Qua Iboe terminal while the second was reported at a flowstation on Nembe Creek belonging to Shell Petroleum.
Saraki, in a statement by Mr. Bamikole Omosore, his media aide, described as disheatening
the situation whereby oil spills occur in the country with oil firms refusing to own up to their responsibilities regarding the spills.
“We must state that it is quite disheartening that a spill of this nature occurs in this country and the responsible company refuses to own up to its liabilities. This lackadaisical attitude towards oil spills must be strongly discouraged by both our regulatory agencies and our laws,” he said in the statement.
He further said: “The Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology totally rejects the casual approach and inconclusive strategy being used by responsible stakeholders whenever there’s an oil spill.
“We have found out that suspected oil operating companies easily make reference to oil finger printing procedure to determine the responsible oil operating company which never produces any conclusive report”.
According to Saraki, the recent oil spills have, again, pushed to the forefront, the need for effective regulatory measures to ensure that oil sector practices in the country meet international standards.