Petroleum Act Will Help Regulate Environmental Hazards – Uzodinma

 

Governor of Imo State Hope Uzodinma has said that the signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill 2021 into law will help to regulate environmental hazards such as oil spillage.

“All the hazards that follow the production of oil, mostly environmental hazards, are as a result of the absence of regulatory environments,” he said on Channels TV’s Politics Today on Tuesday.

“These laws when put in place, will not only regulate the environment but will also create room for value addition both in the oil-bearing communities, the oil-producing companies and government royalties. So, it is going to be a value chain. The benefits are going to be so enormous”.

The Governor commended President Buhari for signing the bill into law, noting that it had been a struggle over the years.

“I must say that the enactment and signing to law of the Petroleum Industry Bill by Mr President is a very welcome development for which we must congratulate him.

“Recall that the past assemblies even before I joined the senate during the 7th National Assembly, made efforts to amend the Petroleum Act which was enacted in 1969 which also became analog but it has not been possible. That the President has been able to break this jinx is a welcome development for which we must congratulate him”.

The oil-producing states in Nigeria are Delta, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Rivers, Edo, Ondo, Abia, Imo and Lagos.

Read Also: PIB: 3% Allocation Not Ideal Compensation For Host Communities, Says Rewane

 

Petroleum Industry Bill 2021 (Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television)

 

According to a statement signed by presidential spokesperson Femi Adesina on Monday, the President signed the bill into law while in quarantine, after his arrival from the United Kingdom.

“The ceremonial part of the new legislation will be done on Wednesday, after the days of mandatory isolation would have been fulfilled,” the statement said.

The Petroleum Industry Act provides legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian petroleum industry, the development of host communities, and related matters.

The Senate had passed the bill on July 15 and the House of Representatives followed suit on July 16.

The act is expected to replace the obsolete Petroleum Act of 1969.

With the passage of the bill, three per cent will now be allocated to host communities from the oil companies in those communities.

The percentage has, however, remained a subject of heated debate with many saying it is too little.

The three per cent is different from the 13% derivation fund which is paid to oil-producing communities from the federation account.

Bayelsa Community Drags Eni To Italian Court

Malabu Oil: Court Vacates Forfieture OrderThe Ikebiri community in Bayelsa state has dragged Eni, parent company of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to an Italian court over oil spill liabilities and pollution.

The community, a coastal settlement in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, is seeking cleanup and compensation for damages from an oil spill that affected their community in 2010.

In a statement issued in Yenagoa, Head of Legal Resources at the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Mr Chima Williams, noted that it is supporting the community in the legal action alongside Friends of the Earth, Europe.

RA/FoEN stated that Eni, which operates in Nigeria as NAOC is responsible for the spill caused by equipment failure.

It quoted its Executive Director, Dr. Godwin Ojo, as saying: “This is the first case of its kind against Italian oil giant Eni, after years of exploitation in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.

“Negligence and nonchalance from ENI and its subsidiary, NAOC has left the Ikebiri community suffering from the impacts of oil pollution for seven years.

“The leak was plugged in 2010, and NAOC claims to have cleaned up the site. However, according to the community the leaked oil in the surrounding area was simply burnt, without their consent. To date, no adequate compensation has been offered, or cleanup completed,” Ojo said.

Also, the Monarch of Ikebiri community, Francis Temi Ododo said that residents of the Niger Delta have suffered the effects of oil spillage for too long and can no longer bear it.

“Our community cannot wait any longer. We have had ENI’s pollution for too long, damaging our fishing, our farming and our lives. We are now looking to the Italian courts for justice for our people.

“The communities of the Niger Delta have had to live for decades with the effects of continuous oil spills on our health, the welfare and their livelihoods.

“Thousands of oil spills have ravaged the communities across the Niger Delta to feed the profits of ENI, and other oil and gas companies,” the community leader said.

Meanwhile, Media Relations Officer at the Exploration, Upstream and Technical Activities unit of the Eni, Marilia Cioni confirmed the litigation in an emailed response.

“I will revert to you with Eni’s position on this matter shortly,” Cioni said.

This is coming less than 24 hours after the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, met in a closed door meeting over the Malabu Opl 245 scandal.

The meeting dwelt on issues relating to Agip’s investment on Zabazaba field which is part of the Opl 245.

Ogoni Clean Up: FG Conducts Ground Breaking Ceremony

El-Rufai Lauds Amina Mohammed’s UN AppointmentThe out-going Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, has said that the people of Ogoni land will see tangible cleanup of their area in the next five years.

The minister said this during the ground breaking ceremony of the building of the centre of excellence, otherwise known as the Integrated Contaminated Soil Management Centre in Bori, Khana local government area of Rivers state.

The event brought together federal and state government officials, traditional rulers, commuinity leaders, as well as members of the board of trustees for the clean-up of Ogoni land.

Restored Ecosystem

In June 2016, the Federal Government formerly launched the clean-up of oil spills in the region, as recommended in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report.

The government had said that it is committed to restoring the ecosystem to what it used to be and as such restore the peoples’ source of livelihood.

It also stated that it is not just committed to implementing the UNEP report but is going beyond that by taking steps to improve security, good governance and economy of the Niger Delta region.

In an attempt to restore peace in the oil-rich region, the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has been meeting with government officials and traditional rulers.

The meetings have been centered on improving crude oil production and resolving the youth restiveness in the oil rich regions such as Bayelsa, the Gbaramatu Kingdom of Delta state, and Imo state.

Leaders Must Rise Above Personal Interests – Gov. Ambode

Lagos State, lekki free zoneNigeria’s present economic situation may still be biting hard, but the situation urgently requires elected leaders to put aside personal differences and interests and focus on delivering good governance to those they represent.

This charge was giving by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode to participants of the ongoing maiden edition of the executive and legislative retreat in Lagos.

Governor Ambode said that the recession taking its toll on Nigerians is a wakeup call for leaders at all levels to come together for the purpose of rescuing the nation rather than seeing it as an opportunity to amass resources for selfish purposes.

The 3-day retreat had in attendance members of the executive and the legislature at the state and federal level.

Party leaders from the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties in the state were also part of it.

Explosion Claims Four Lives In Odidi, Delta State

Odidi community in Warri explosionAn explosion has occurred in an oil spillage site in Odidi community in Warri, Delta State, killing four persons.

The incident has thrown Odidi community in South-west Local Government Area of Delta State in Nigeria’s south-south into mourning.

The community leader, Lawrence Okrikpa, blamed the oil spill on the neglect of Nigeria Petroleum Development Corporation (NPDC), which he said had failed to work on the old gas pipelines long due for change.

He appealed to the Federal Government to come salvage the situation, which is hopeless at the moment as the community has been devastated.

Akwa Ibom: Exxon Mobil says begins oil spill clean-up

ExxonMobil’s said on Tuesday it was helping clean up an oil spill near its facility off the Nigeria’s southeast coast, although the company wasn’t yet sure what caused the leak.

Mobil Producing Nigeria, a joint venture between ExxonMobil and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), confirmed last week oil had been sighted near Ibeno in Akwa Ibom state but the source was unknown.

Local fishing communities blame Mobil for the spill, which they say has cut off their livelihood.

“Mobil … confirms it is assisting with the clean-up in cooperation with local authorities,” company spokesman Nigel Cookey-Gam said.
“The source of the hydrocarbon remains unknown as fingerprinting of collected samples is ongoing … Mobil remains committed to ensuring that the health and environment of our neighbouring communities are protected.”

Oil spills are common in Africa’s top energy producer and stretches of the Niger Delta, a fragile wetlands environment, are coated in crude. Thousands of barrels are spilled every year and lax enforcement means there are few penalties.

Oil firms say the majority of spills are due to armed oil thieves hacking into or blowing up pipelines to steal crude, an activity they estimate saps nearly a fifth of Nigeria’s output.

NESREA Commences Training for Officers

The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency has commenced training for officers who will be engaged in the implementation of the national environmental regulations.
At the opening of a risk assessment workshop in Abuja, the director general of NESREA, Dr. Ngeri Benebo said that the agency will fully implement the 24 regulations, which cuts across all sectors.
Dr. Benebo said that training will equip the officials witht he skills to conduct investigations and collate data on environmental risks to avoid disasters.