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A new report by leading nature based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), the Africa Environmental & Economic Peace Mission (AEEPM) has disclosed that “Only laws passed by the National Assembly can compel the International Oil Companies (IOCs) to do the needful by way of stopping flaring of gas during oil explorations in Nigeria”.
AEEPM said it based its report on experiences in other climes, stressing that “A cabal in the IOCs operating in Nigeria seems to have infiltrated the executive arm of government thereby making it to be weak in coming up with regulations capable of ending gas flaring long before now”.
“We have observed that whenever the relevant MDAs come up with a credible policy to end gas flaring, within a space of months, the same government will change tone and begin to say another thing meaning that several waters have passed under the bridge of the agencies in charge.
“This is evident in several occasions and it has forced many oil communities to always take their cases of wrongdoing by IOCs to international courts than Nigerian court due to pressure that will be insulated on the communities by agencies of the government.
AEEPM in a statement made available to Business Hilights welcomed the new move at the House of Representatives in pushing to end flaring by 2020.
It would be recalled that the House of Representatives earlier in the week, mandated its Committees on Gas Resources, Petroleum Resources (Upstream) and Petroleum Resources (Downstream) to interface with Ministry of Petroleum Resources and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on how to actualise 2020 date to end gas flaring in the country.
The committees are expected to report back to the House within eight weeks for further legislative action. This followed a motion on need to stop gas flaring in the country, moved by Ehiozuwa Agbonayinma at plenary.
Driving home his points during an expansive debate at the floor of the House, Agbonayinma said gas flaring poses a lot of problems to both the economy of the nation and the environment, stressing that gas flaring has also caused so much death and environmental degradation in the country.
“According to data obtained from the World Bank, Nigeria ranks second among countries that are the largest gas flaring nations in the world, as the country emits over $4 billion worth of gas annually.
“Additional figures obtained from the DPR indicate that gas flared in 2015 alone was capable of generating about 3,500MW of electricity or an equivalent of three trains of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), representing a loss of over $1 billion revenue or over 60 million barrels of oil equivalent.
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