Port Harcourt — Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has raised concerns over the environmental standards applied by oil multinationals in their operations in the Niger Delta region, compared to other parts of the world.
To this end, the governor has called for urgent commencement of the cleanup of the entire Niger Delta as a whole, noting that the ongoing Ogoni cleanup, was a fraction of the heavily polluted environment of the region from oil spills.
Governor Diri spoke on Tuesday, when members of the House of Reps Committee on Oil Spill Investigation, Cleanup and Remediation in Oil Producing States, visited him at the Government House, Yenagoa.
He lamented the level of negligence by oil companies and the Government, explaining that Niger Delta people have suffered so much environmental degradation and pollution of water bodies, leading to increase in cases of cancer and other ailments.
“What happened in Ogoniland is the same in the whole of the Niger Delta. That there is a cleanup in Ogoniland is, to say the least, a fraction of the Niger Delta. So the cleanup should be the whole of the Niger Delta”
The governor called on members of the National Assembly, to expedite action on passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, as it would correct some of the injustices faced by oil producing states.
“Let me appeal that as you go, have a very serious interest in the PIB. The PIB has been there from one Assembly to the other.
“It is another source of ameliorating what we perceive as cheating on the part of the oil companies and Nigeria on the Niger Delta and its people.”
He expressed the optimism that the report of the committee would bring succour to people of the area if implemented.
Earlier, Chairman of the Committee, Aminu Tukur, disclosed that members of the computer were in Bayelsa state verify and inspect some oil spill sites, in order to ascertain the actual cleanup and remediation.