ASABA— NATIONAL Coordinator/Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Center for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, Chief Mulade Sheriff, has urged Niger Delta leaders and stakeholders, especially those in the oil and gas –bearing communities, to shun bribe and any other form of compromise with oil companies in Year 2022 to save the environment.
Mulade, an environmental rights activist, in a statement, also complained that oil regulatory agencies were compromising standards with their prejudicial actions against local communities.
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He said: “One big challenge faced in promoting growth and development in our communities is compromise by those who we naturally believe should fight to ensure that the needful is done which will benefit greater majority of the people at the long run.
“I appeal to Niger Deltans, particularly leaders of oil and gas host communities, to protect and save their environment from further devastation in 2022. Leaders should strive at all times to work for the economic growth and advancement of the people.
“We all saw what happened with the oil spill at Nembe, Bayelsa State. I urge stakeholders to task oil companies to tackle the challenges of pollution in order to reverse to its original status the degraded environment of the Niger Delta region, as well as protect and sustain the environment for future generations.
“It is wrong to allow oil companies award cleanup contracts to incompetent contractors to save costs and create divisions among the people, as there are standard procedures for carrying out oil spill cleanups globally.
“Leaders in the region should ensure that oil companies adhere strictly to global best practices, instead of awarding clean up jobs to contracting firms that lack the capacity and experience to do the job.
“It is worthy of note that the National Oil Spill Detection and Responses Agency, NOSDRA, Nigeria Upstream Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, and other environmental regulatory agencies now seemingly appear to be tools in the hands of multinational oil and gas exporting companies in Nigeria by compromising and taking biased actions against the local people, when it comes to the need for objectively in dispensing oil spill matters because the locals have nothing to offer government officials,” he added.
The activist called on Federal Government and other stakeholders to prevail on the oil multinationals in 2022 to come up with urgent measures towards reversing the degraded Niger Delta environment so as to protect the flora and fauna of the region.