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Senate demands maximum sanction for oil firm Bayelsa spill

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The Senate on Tuesday, described as unacceptable, the oil spillage caused by AITEO Eastern Exploration and Production Company Limited in Bayelsa State.

The red chamber has therefore urged the relevant agencies to invoke the maximum penalties applicable under the laws for such infractions.

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, stated this at plenary during his concluding remarks after the upper chamber passed a resolution on the unfortunate incident.

Lawan also called on the Federal Government through its agencies to penalize any indigenous oil companies responsible for the devastation of host communities where they operate.

The Senate President said that the National Assembly would insist on companies carrying out their corporate-social responsibilities to host communities under the law.

He said doing so would also involve penalizing any company that fails to adhere to operational standards set out by the federal government.

He said, “I feel very sad, that an indigenous oil company for that matter, would be involved in this kind of incident and yet not able to show any capacity.

“As a country, we want to promote our local content – indigenous oil companies – to participate in this industry.

“But we are going to insist, whether it is an indigenous owned company any or an international one, that the companies must be responsible to the communities and to us as a nation.

“This is devastation of lives and ecosystems in that part of the country.

“I believe that this particular case should be made to be an example of what government and its agencies can do, not only to force the alleged culprit to remedy the environment but also to penalize the oil company for devastating the lives of the people of that area (Nembe), Lawan said.

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