BY OBUTE JAMES
The House of Representatives have called for the assessment of “the Economic Impact, Compensation and Financing Remediation Program for Oil –Spill Ravaged Communities of Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta of Imo State and Niger Delta Area of Nigeria.”
The House of Representatives Resolution follwed a motion by Hon. Uju Chima Kingsley, Representive of Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta Feederal Constituency of Imo State on Thursday 17th February, 2022.
Hon. Uju spoke on the motion titled:
“Call to Assess the Economic Impact, Compensation and Financing Remediation Program for Oil –Spill Ravaged Communities of Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta of Imo State and Niger Delta Area of Nigeria.”
“The House: Notes that crude oil spill has been a recurrent issue in Nigeria, and despite efforts to curtail its prevalence, stakeholders and agencies have not made concerted efforts to ensure that the legal instruments/policies are strictly adhered to by the exploration entities;
“Also notes that due to the geographical peculiarities of Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta Local Government Areas, as well as the Niger Delta areas of Nigeria, the predominant occupations amongst their indigenous peoples, are farming and fishing;
“Concerned that oil spill in the host communities has resulted in pollution of the rivers and low yield to farmers due to poor soil quality a resultant effect of oil spill on the land;
“Also concerned that the spills have caused diseases, psychological trauma and stress, occupational displacement, decreased income, and untold hardship for the people Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta communities in Imo State;
“Cognizant of the need for oil exploration entities to be proactive in addressing the problems created by the oil spill, as well adequate compensations to impacted communities;
“Also cognizant of the need for a remediation program, which should be jointly financed by the oil companies and the Federal Government to alleviate the sufferings of the people in the affected communities,’ he said.
Based on his prayers, the House urged the Federal Government to design a workable compensation template for indigenes of the communities affected by the oil spill in Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State, and other oil-producing areas across the country;
The Green Chamber also urged the Federal Government to set up a remediation program to providing soft loans for indigenous entrepreneurs in impacted communities to help finance their small and medium scale commercial businesses, with clearly defined terms for repayment.
The House mandated its Committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Petroleum Resources (Downstream), and NDDC to conduct an impact assessment and evaluation of the effects of the oil spill in Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State to ensure that the people are adequately compensated and implementation of the previous resolutions.