A lecturer in the Department of Sociology, University of Port Harcourt, Dr. Sofiri Joab Peterside has alleged that highly placed Nigerians are involved in the illegal crude oil bunkering operations going on in the Niger Delta region.
Peterside made the allegations, yesterday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, at the 8th annual National Environmental Congress of the Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria, ERA/FoEN, with the theme, ‘Extractives and Energy Transition: A Roadmap to Zero-Carbon Development.”
In a Key Note Address titled: “The Age of Fossil Fuels and the Emerging Quest for Sustainable Energy Model of Development”, Peterside submitted that oil bunkering had become an industry of its own in the Niger Delta.
The University Don further argued that illegal oil bunkering is contributing to the economic well-being of most communities of the Niger Delta, as the Nigerian state has failed to take adequate care of its citizens. He further stated that the Niger Delta looses its people to oil bunkering on daily basis.
Earlier in his welcome address, executive director of ERA/FoEN, Dr. Godwin Ojo, stated that there is a global crisis of development arising from inequalities in energy access, pointing out that apparent dichotomy in the way of energy is perceived in the global North and South.
“There is a global crisis of development arising from inequalities in energy access. There is apparent dichotomy in the way energy is perceived in the global North and South. For the North, energy security means continuous flow of natural resources especially, oil and gas and this often means militarization of pipelines routes and drilling behind military shields.
“For the South, energy security means dispossession, poverty, violence, ecocide and crime against humanity at the sites of extraction. The poor energy access in the South can be addressed by the African proposal for global Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariffs system, REFiTs, that provide energy access to all.
“Twenty years after Ken, Niger Delta communities continue to face ecocide as a result of extraction of fossil fuel.
“Farmlands are destroyed, the waters, soil and air are polluted. Not only Ogoni, but the entire Nigerian environment is battered, bruised and wrecked largely as a result of oil and gas extraction,” he stated.