Lagos — In an effort to resolve the soot menace, the Rivers State Government says it has identified petrochemical and fertiliser companies, the Port Harcourt Refineries and 10 other sources of hydrocarbon soot which has plagued the state in the last three years.
These sources, according to the Rivers State Government, were identified in the report submitted by its Scientific Committee which was established to investigate the prevalence of soot.
To this end, the Rivers State Government has set up a Technical Committee, which will have amongst others, a representative of each oil multinationals operating in the state, as well as the Port Harcourt Refinery and the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company Limited, NLNG, to implement the recommendations of the scientific committee.
Speaking, the Rivers State Commissioner of Environment, Prof Roseline Konya, said the State Government arrived at the decision to set up a technical committee to address the sources of soot. after a detailed consideration of the report of the Scientific Committee.
According to her, “The State Executive Council went ahead and appointed members of the Technical committee for purpose of the implementation of the report of the scientific committee.
“The sources of soot are; refineries, fertilizer companies, illegal refineries, setting ablaze of illegally refined petroleum products by the military, tire burning, gas flaring, meat roasting with used tires, asphalt plants refuse to burn among others”, she said.
Prof Konya further disclosed that the Rivers State Government has written to the Federal Government to work with the state to tackle aspects that fall within the purview of Federal Agencies.
Also, the Rivers State Commissioner of Information, Emma Okah said that the issue of soot in the state was topical and the Governor Wike-led administration was committed to resolving it.
Okah said that the Technical Committee would be inaugurated by the State Governor at the commencement of his second term, assuring that the State Government will continue to work for the improvement of the environment.
“The technical committee is to be chaired by the Honorable Commissioner for Environment and other members are as follows, Prof Precious Edeh, Dr. Golden Ohana, the Honorable Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Commissioner of Water Resources.
“Others are representatives of the International oil companies; one each from Shell, Agip, Total, Indorama Petrochemicals, Port Harcourt refineries, and NLNG.
“There will also be a representative of civil society, as well as Engineer Juliet Ohunna, while the secretary of the committee will be nominated by the Ministry of Environment.”