Bayelsa govt. defends oil Commission’s trip to UK House of Lords
......Says the state requires about N12b to recover from degradation
Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa
Following criticisms that trailed the recent trip to United Kingdom (UK) by a delegation led by Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State under the aegis of Bayelsa state Oil and Environmental Commission (BSOEC), the state government has defended its mission to the UK House of Lords.
The state goverment said the state would require about $12 billion to recover from the degradation caused oil spill in various parts of the state.
The mission of members of the Commission, which included top government and traditional rulers, was to draw World attention to activities of the Multinational oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region which has degraded the environment of the Bayelsa state over the years.
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Besides presenting the report to the UK House of Lords, the mission of the delegation led by governor.
The governor was aimed at spurring the multinational oil companies to come and clean up their mess noted Dr. Kola Oredipe, the Director-General of New Media to the state governor.
Dr. Oredipe who spoke in chart on the activities of the commission and other issues of the Governor Douye Diri-led administration said the trip to the UK House of Lords was worthwhile considering the thorough investigations done by the Commission and the need to present it before the House of Lords.
He pointed out that the oil companies have done terrible evil to the environment of the state following the oil exploration activities for years.
According to him, the Commission ‘s investigation spanned 14 years and over 500 persons were interviewed and it was disclosed that 25% oil spills in the Niger Delta were from Bayelsa state .
“Oil companies should come and clean up their mess. Over 500 persons were interviewed on their experiences,” disclosed Oredipe who commended the immediate past Governor Seriake Dickson for setting up the Commission.
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“We thank the former governor Dickson for this initiative. This genocide must stop.
“The Commission did a thorough job involving Professors and other top experts in the oil and gas industry to reveal the terrible situation in the state
” Bayelsa state experiences oil spill for every 12 hours for the 14 years period they covered .
“Bayelsa recorded 25% of oil spills in Nigeria and Bayelsa will require $12 billion to recover it’s degradation,” he added.
According to him, recommendations of the Commission included the setting up of Bayelsa State recovery agency, a new compensation scheme for those affected, fundamentally reform the rogatory regime and introduce a new legal framework as new dispute resolution procedures, amongst others.