Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has called on Nigeria’s House of Representatives to expedite action on the Petroleum Industry Bill to correct some of the injustices faced by oil-producing states.
Diri made the call on Tuesday when members of the House Committee on Oil Spill Investigation, Clean-up and Remediation in Oil-Producing States visited him in Government House, Yenagoa.
His Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, stated that the PIB, when signed into law, would be an avenue to correct some of the wrongs of the oil companies in host communities, noting that the bill had been neglected for long by the National Assembly.
“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 stated.
He lamented the level of negligence by oil companies and the Federal Government, saying the people had suffered so much in terms of environmental degradation and pollution of water bodies, leading to increase in cases of cancer and other strange ailments.
Querying the standards applied by oil firms in their operations in the Niger Delta, compared to others parts of the world, the Bayelsa helmsman called for clean-up of the entire Niger Delta, noting that the Ogoni clean-up, which attracted international attention, was just a fraction of the polluted environment.
“What happened in Ogoniland is the same in the whole of the Niger Delta. So, the clean-up should be in the whole of Niger Delta,” the statement added.
The governor expressed optimism that the report of the committee would bring succour to people of the area, if implemented.
Earlier, chairman of the committee, Amiru Tukur, had stated that they were in the state on a verification mission to some oil spill sites to ascertain the actual clean-up and remediation, saying the outcome would form the basis of the report it would submit to the House.
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