The House of Representatives has ordered the Inspector General of Police, (IGP), and other relevant security agencies to immediately clampdown on the activities of illegal refineries operators in the Niger Delta region of the country and prosecute those found culpable.
The House in a motion of urgent public importance moved by the deputy chairman, communications committee, Mr Unyime Idem, said that the illegal activities have sabotaged economic activities of residents of the area, caused severe health hazards on citizens, robbed the country of critical revenue, and aggravated the problem of pollution in the region.
He specifically mentioned the case of Rivers and the environs where residents have suffered the current soot in the last three years as a result of incomplete burning of organic matter by the illegal refiners.
“Concerned that the Niger Delta Region of the country has over the years been plagued by the activities of illegal oil refineries at the detriment of the lives of residents and the economy of the country. These activities have compounded the age-long problem of environmental pollution and degradation caused by the seismic and exploration activities of the multinational oil companies operating in Niger Delta; contributing to the dramatic changes in the weather pattern being experienced in the region,” Idem noted.
The Ukanafun/Oruk Anam federal lawmaker who also expressed worry that if the trend continues unabated, the Niger Delta Region will be at health risk and economic activities will be crumbled, called on the federal ministries of petroleum resources and environment to urgently develop and implement modalities to clear off the soot currently experienced in Rivers and other parts of the Niger Delta Region.
The speaker, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila who presided over the plenary, mandated the joint committees on Host Community and Downstream to follow up the investigation and report back within six weeks for further legislative action.