Reasons have been advanced as to why the Federal Government has been unable to halt gas flaring in the country in spite of promises from past governments.
Besides corruption and lack of political will, the stranglehold of oil multinationals, which are regulating the Nigeria National Petroleum Company on the oil sector and helplessness of affected communities to sue the Federal Government have been itemised as veritable reasons.
Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ), Comrade Sheriff Mulade, made these observations in Warri, Delta State.
The ineptitude notwithstanding, the non-governmental organisation boss charged the Federal Government to end gas flaring in the Niger Delta region as quick as possible.
Mulade disclosed that Nigerians only needed a leader like President Muhammadu Buhari, who smacks of some level of integrity and political will to implement the enabling provisions and bring the gas flaring phenomenon to a halt.
He recalled that President Olusegun Obasanjo and the then National Assembly made some empty promises that were never matched with actions.
According to him, immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan, who is from the affected region, also made the same promises, but nothing positive came out of them.
He expressed hope that President Buhari would toe an honourable path by putting an end to gas flaring in the Niger Delta region in order to salvage what remained of the devastated environment.
“Gas flaring, as a result of oil exploration and exploitation by oil firms, has destroyed the entire ecosystem and with the prevailing climate change, except government takes proactive steps, Nigeria is not safe.
“This issue of gas flaring resulted from corruption and this NGO is very happy that the president, during his campaigns, promised to stamp out corruption. We know that he may not end corruption completely, but we are expecting a drastic drop in corruption in this country and successive governments can follow his steps until it is completely eradicated.
He expressed worries over the helplessness of the affected communities which lack the wherewithal to match the FG strength with strength, noting sadly that the country had conflicting agencies where laws and penalties were duplicated.
“In the area of environment, we have the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), the Nigeria Environmental Standards and Regulatory Agency (NESDRA) and the Ministry of Environment.
These agencies are in conflict when it comes to processes and procedures on environmental matters. For example, when there is a spill, the community cries out and the multinational companies will invite the Ministry of Environment and the other agencies for a Joint Investigation Venture (JIV). At the JIV, the multinational oil company will provide the logistics to convey the ministry of environment, NOSDRA and NESDRA to the venue of the spill.
Source: The Nigerian Tribune