Monarch attributes oil pollution in Niger Delta to weak regulations
The paramount ruler of Ekpetiama community in Yenagoa, Bayelsa, Bubaraye Dakolo, has attributed the widespread pollution of enviroment in the Niger Delta to weak regulatory framework.
Dakolo said this in his palace during an advocacy visit by environmental rights group, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) on Saturday.
He expressed regrets that transnational oil firms with operations in many companies, including its home countries comply with environmental procedures but flout such rules in Nigeria.
“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 in Nigera 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, whereas in their countries they dare not spill a barrel because of the implications.
“The story is different in Nigeria and in the Niger Delta, the government needs to urgently strengthen the regulation and protect the ecosystem,” Dakolo said.
The monarch criticised the influx of foreign fishing trawlers into Nigeria territorial waters and depriving the artisanal fishermen of their livelihood despite the maritime rules that restrain trawlers from fishing near 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, the earlier this is settled the better,” Dakolo said.
Earlier, Mr Alagoa Morris, Head of Field Operations at ERA/FoEN, solicited the support of the monarch 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 and notify ERA/FoEN of pollution incidents in Ekpettiama.