Senate Accuses Oil Firms Of Cheating Nigerians

Senate Accuses Oil Firms Of Cheating Nigerians

Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, Senator Bukola Saraki, has accused oil companies operating in the country of hiding under weak laws to avoid paying compensation for oil spillages.

Saraki said this during an interactive session with stakeholders, Non-Governmental Organisations and environmental activists in Abuja on Wednesday.

He expressed his sadness that 50 per cent of oil spills results from corrosion of oil infrastructure.

According to the former Kwara State governor, this runs contrary to claims by oil companies that 70 per cent of oil spills are caused by sabotage.

He said  the purpose of the meeting was for stakeholders to contribute to proposed amendments to the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency  Act 2006.

The NOSDRA (amendment) Bill 2012 scaled second reading before and is being prepared for its third and final reading before passage into law.

Saraki said, “The attitude of the average spiller to compensation is that of unwanted irritation because the extant framework for compensation for oil spillage under the Oil Pipelines Act is weak, ambiguous and ineffectual.

“Responsible parties for oil spills have continued to hide under this ambiguity to escape liability.

“Instead of receiving adequate compensation, in most cases (if the people even get what is derogatorily termed palliative), they would rather give a few monies to angry youths, settle loud chiefs and pay no attention to the very weak and voiceless in these communities; whose farms and livelihood receive the heaviest hit by the spill.”

 

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