The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has tackled the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), and the Bayelsa State Government over their alleged inaction on oil spill cases in Akassa, Brass Local Government Area of the state.
It said the incident occurred at the oil firm’s oilfield Well 13 on September 3, 2020, and the oil firm had yet to respond to it despite several complaints.
ALSO READ :AFDB to support Great Green Wall initiative with $6.5bn
The Bayelsa Head of ERA/FoEN, Mr Alagoa Morris, stated that the chairman of the United Fishing Union of Sangana, Ikonikumo Noel, had cried out that the oil leak destroyed a huge number of different species of fishes and other aquatic lives which were washed ashore the shoreline of Akassa communities.
According to him, the regulatory body as well as the State’s government had failed to act on the report despite complaints made to them.
Morris said: “From video clips, photos and related testimonies from community folks, it has been established that there has been an oil spill in the environment.
“And it is unfortunate that neither the facility owners nor any of the regulatory agencies has responded to the incident, even though they have been duly informed by community stakeholders in writing, especially the office of the Bayelsa State Commissioner for the Environment.
“Ordinarily, the regulators should have visited the impacted communities and sites of interest, including the Otuo Field Well 13 to, not only to ascertain the facts and give a sense of belonging to the affected communities but also to ensure that the needful is done by the firm promptly to prevent the further leak of crude oil and related negative impacts on the environment.
“The inaction of NOSDRA and Bayelsa State Ministries of Environment and Mineral Resources leaves much to be desired. They obviously shirked responsibility to the people and the environment.”
To this end, he urged the regulatory agency and the state government to prevail on the company to carry out clean-up and provide relief materials and compensation to victims of its operations in Akassa Kingdom’s environment.