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Bayelsa slams neglect by oil firms

15 April 2014, 08:32

Abuja - Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has berated international oil companies over their alleged insensitivity to the plight of oil producing communities in the Niger Delta.

The Governor stated that over the years, the accumulated effects of their activities were beginning to take its toll on the people of oil producing states.

He said they had impacted adversely on the lives of the people, especially Bayelsa where oil companies have the bulk of their operations.

“I have said it before that what has been going on in Bayelsa State and in all oil producing areas concerning the levity with which oil companies treat the issues of the environment and the maintenance of environmental and health standards are unimaginable," he said.

"We all have a duty to keep the environment safe and hand it to our children's children, the same way our parents handed it over to us. Already, in our villages and communities, we can see what is happening.”

He urged Non-Governmental Organizations and other well-meaning groups to join government in championing the cause of protecting the environment for the sake of posterity.

“The environment is one of the greatest challenges our people are facing. This government is aware of the precarious situation of our environment and we are aware of our overall responsibility to protect the environment, which is the most important heritage."

In the same vein, the Governor condemned the activities of pipeline vandals and operators of illegal refineries for their unpatriotic acts, calling on the people of the state to see the fight against such crimes as a collective one, adding that his administration would create awareness on compliance to standard practice as regards the environment.

According to him, the government will strive to ensure adherence to environmental sanitation laws of the state to keep Yenagoa, the state capital clean and green in line with the tourism drive of the restoration agenda, as it is the most important heritage.

“We will promote awareness on the need for a safe and green environment and ensure compliance, to lay down rules and standard practice in line with international standards. We will look at our legal regime where necessary on matters concerning the environment and we want under our government to see a Yenagoa, the state capital to be the cleanest city in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

The Governor remarked that his administration was in the process of working on initiatives to improve on the sanitary situation of communities, especially in Yenagoa and called on the people to support government accomplish the task of safeguarding the environment.

- CAJ News

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