Tamuno tasks IOCs on Establishment of Modular Refineries
International oil companies (IOCs) have been urged to commit to the establishment of Modular refineries in the state.
Commissioner for Environment, Dr Igbiks Tamuno said this during a meeting with representatives of the Health Safety Enviromental department of the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to address petitions by host communities in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area.
Tamuno expressed displeasure over the alleged neglect of affected host communities and the slow response by NAOC to these communities, asked for submission of relevant reports by NAOC to the ministry.
He stated that government was more concerned with the well being of her people and the environment, and advised NAOC to ensure that host communities affected by the oil spill are properly cleaned up, compensated and measures put in place to forestall future occurrences.
He called of IOCs to run Community Social Responsibility programmes, engage the youths sponsoring vocational trainings and grants or soft loans to host communities to help alleviate their sufferings.
The commissioner said the proposed setting up of modular refineries in the state will help curb activities of illegal refineries popularly known as kpo fire and pipeline vandalism by hoodlums.
He reiterated the need to involve specialists in addressing environmental disasters and liaise with the ministry and relevant bodies at all time.
Tamuno invited the IOCs to partner with government in averting flood in flash point areas in the state following Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET)’s prediction of 2 weeks of concentrated rainfall stressing that government is putting together massive public enlightenment, desilting of drains, and measures to deflood communities that may be affected.
Responding on behalf of NAOC HSE Department, the Government liaison officer, Lauretta Kobani said the company has no intentions of ignoring the plight of the affected host communities and has commenced the process of compensation and would always liaise with the ministry of environment in efforts to stopping illegal refining and pipeline vandalism.
On his part, Team Lead Oil Spill management, Dr Francis Egobueze said though some oil spills were as a result of sabotage others were caused by operational control.
He said compensation process is ongoing while most of the cases have been settled to ensure that the effect of the spill on host communities is cushioned.