Bayelsa State government yesterday decried the incessant pollution of its communities due to the exploitation of oil and gas in the state by multinational companies.
The government warned that any oil company which operations resulted in the pollution of the environment would be made to face the consequences in line with the law.
The state’s Commissioner for Environment, Mr Inuro Wills, made the warning in an interview with NAN in Yenagoa, the state capital.
He spoke to NAN shortly after he visited the Kolo Creek oil fields where a leak in the oil pipeline discharged crude into the farmlands and vegetation.
He said that the pipeline leak at the Kolo Creek manifold in Otuasega, Ogbia local government area of the state, had contaminated the environment.
The commissioner said that the oil facility belonged to Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, SPDC.
He said that the state government had taken steps to ensure that the oil firm promptly cleaned up the impacted area.
Wills said: “We will carefully consider what to do next whatever the cause of the spill may be, whether it is as a result of sabotage or equipment failure.
“There has to be consequences even if it is caused by sabotage because, clearly, there is a pattern of occurrence.
“Almost on a daily basis, there is one oil spill or the other in Bayelsa.
The commissioner maintained that government and the people of the state would no longer tolerate incessant pollution of their environment.
According to him, oil firms in the state carried out their operations in the state without being sensitive to the environment.
“The pollution at the Kolo Creek oil field is yet another demonstration of how oil and gas production is done in Nigeria, especially in the Niger Delta region.
“The activities of the oil companies threaten our environment; they put the health of our people in danger and destabilise the economy of the region,’’ he added.
He criticised the Joint Investigation Visit (JIV), a process currently adopted by oil companies and other stake holders in accessing oil spills, insisting that the procedure had outlived its usefulness.
The commissioner said that the state had begun an overhaul of JIV process to enable the participation of more stakeholders and make it more transparent. NAN

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