Monarch blames oil pollution in Niger Delta on weak regulation
Posted by News Express | 8 October 2016 | 1,514 times
King Bubaraye Dakolo, Paramount Ruler of Ekpetiama community in Yenagoa, Bayelsa, has blamed widespread pollution of the Niger Delta environment to weak regulatory framework.
Dakolo expressed the view in his palace on Saturday during an advocacy visit by environmental rights group, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN).
He said it was regrettable that the transnational oil firms with operations in many companies – including their home countries – comply with environmental procedures for sustainability of the environment but flout such rules in Nigeria.
Dakolo said: “We are all witnesses to recent occurrences in the gulf of Mexico and the steps taken to remediate the environment and compensate the victims but the same companies cannot do the same here because of weak regulation.
“There is apparent laxity in the regulation of the oil sector that transnational companies are exploiting to the detriment of our environment, in their home countries they dare not spill a barrel because they know the implication.
“But the story is different in Nigeria and in the Niger Delta, he government needs to urgently strengthen the regulators and equip them to play their roles and protect the ecosystem.”
The monarch also condemned the influx of foreign fishing trawlers into Nigeria’s territorial waters and depriving the artisanal fishermen of livelihood despite the maritime rules that restrain trawlers from fishing near the coastline.
“The development is a recipe for crises because economic deprivation is like genocide, the law restrains trawlers to five nautical miles but they encroach and threaten the fishermen with armed escorts on board. If you go back to history, it was this type of deprivation that compelled the now notorious Somali pirates to resort to piracy and the Navies o the world cannot control them, the earlier this is settled the better,” Dakolo said.
Earlier, Mr Alagoa Morris, Head of Field Operations at ERA/FoEN, sought the support of the traditional ruler in its bid to monitor the environmental impact of oil and gas explorations in Ekpetiama communities.
Morris urged the royal father who is also an environmentalist to support the NGO’s advocacy to stop indiscriminate and illegal logging in the Niger Delta as well as notify ERA/FoEN of pollution incidents at oilfields in Ekpettiama.