Following weeks of unabatting oil spill in opu-nembe kingdom of Nembe LGA of Bayelsa State, the Nigerian Senate on Tuesday called for stiff punishment of AITEO Eastern Exploration and Production Company Limited over
The position of the Senate followed a motion by Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo( APC, Bayelsa East).
Eremienyo drew senate attention to the devastating effects of oil and gas into the waterways and mangrove of Opu Nembe area of Bayelsa State from a long-sealed, non-producing but unattended oil well1, Santa Barbara Well 1, OML 29.
He said efforts to stop the spill by the operators had failed repeatedly for over one month, wasting an estimated 2 million barrels of hydrocarbon and gas .
Irked by the development, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan pushed strongly for stiff punishment for Aiteo; stressing that if there need to revoke its licence so be it.
Lawan said while the government wants to encourage local companies to participate in the oil and gas; he said the companies like Aiteo should reciprocate by being responsible to the host communities and the government.
The Senate President said Aiteo must be ready to remedy the situation and possibly face severe sanction.
The senate accordingly called on the Ministry of Environment and other relevant agencies to immediately conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment to ascertain the extent of damage and ensure internationally acceptable standard of remediation of the environment.
The Ministry of Environment has sixty days to complete this assignment.
The senate also slammed on Aiteo an obligation to pay adequate compensations to the affected host communities.
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