The House of Representatives has decided to look into claims that oil firms have harmed the environment in areas that produce oil and have defied the law governing the oil industry.
The House charged its downstream Petroleum Resources Committee to look into any environmental harm brought on by oil firms’ disregard for the law.
Following a proposal made on Wednesday at the plenary session by Ahmadu Jaha of the APC in Borno, the resolution was passed.
Jaha, who presented the motion, claimed that many oil wells in oil-producing areas have been drained and are no longer economically viable, leading local and multinational oil and gas firms to sell up their previous upstream holdings.
According to the report, to prevent environmental problems or disruption with other marine operations, it is best practice internationally to decommission oil well sites that are financially unviable.
According to Jaha, citing section 232 of the PIA, the legislation mandates that oil corporations must guarantee that the environment returns to its natural state after the conclusion of their exploratory activities by dismantling and removing non-viable sites.
“Article 233 of the Petroleum Industry Law provides for the establishment of a fund for the mitigation of negative environmental impacts associated with the decommissioning or abandonment of oil and gas fields and assets,” he said.
According to Jaha, domestic and international oil and gas firms have consistently disregarded the law by removing non-viable platforms and facilities from their operational bases without according to accepted procedures.
According to him, there are “huge hazards to host communities” due to the harmful gas emissions from abandoned facilities that are leading to inexplicable illnesses and fatalities in individuals.
“Abandoned facilities are impeding water transportation and causing unimaginable dangers for farmers,” he added.
Deputy Speaker, Ben Kalu, who presided over the meeting, called for an oral vote on the resolution, which was adopted without debate.