By Christiana Ekpa
The House Representatives yesterday summoned the National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC/Chevron Nigeria Limited Joint Venture to immediately appear and brief its relevant Committees on the steps taken to extinguish the inferno that caused serious environmental disaster in some communities of Ilaje Local government area of Ondo State.
This even as the House urged the NNPC/Chevron Nigeria Limited Joint Venture, Nigerian Fire Service, Department of Petroleum Resources and National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency to mobilize relevant officials to affected areas to extinguish the fire.
It also mandated the Committee on Local Content and other relevant Committees of the House to ensure adequate compensation of the concerned communities and asked the Committees on Governmental Affairs and Legislative Compliance to monitor compliance.
The House further urged the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA to provide relief materials to the affected people in the communities.
These were the resolutions reached Wednesday at plenary following the motion on ‘urgent need for intervention in the incident of burning oil fields under the joint venture operation of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation/Chevron Limited’ moved by Victor Kolade-Akinjo(APC, Ondo).
While presenting the motion, Kolade-Akinjo explained that, “no fewer than five oil wells, including Isan-West field, Ayeren, Parable field, Malu field, Ororo, Opokaba, Otumara, Ikorigho, Kendo, under a joint Venture operation of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation/Chevron Limited in some communities in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, were recently gutted by fire which started around 10 pm on Thursday, April 18, 2019 leading to serious environment disaster with resultant adverse effects on the health of the people of the host communities of Ajegunle, Ikorigho, Zion – Ikorigho, Ehinmoghan, Otumara, Iluayo, Ojumole, among others”.
According to him, “the inferno caused oil spillage which destroyed many aquatic lives, fauna and agricultural crops of the people thereby causing untold economic loss and hardship.
“Chevron Nigeria Limited conducted a drone over flight to evaluate the fire, mobilized emergency responders to assess the affected areas and reported the fire incident to the Department of Petroleum Resources, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency and other regulatory and security authorities.
“The lingering fire keeps spreading with greater destructive implication while Chevron or any regulatory authorities fails to come up with any constructive idea on how to put out the fire, and if
immediate action is not taken, the longest coastline in Nigeria with all its economic potentials may be completely destroyed by the raging fire”.