Abuja - Oil companies that pollute the environment will be prosecuted if Nigeria's Parliament passes legislation that seeks to criminalise oil spills.
The Minister of Environment, Hadiza Mailafia, disclosed in Abuja that the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), a department under her Ministry, had presented a bill to effect the move at the National Assembly.
“We are working on the proposed bill presented by NOSDRA to the National Assembly. When it comes up, there will be more stringent measures on those oil companies that pollute the environment.
She added, “One has to note this is transformation agenda in action. Before now, these things (pollution) were happening but not attended to. We are now determined to transform the environment," she said.
Oil spills are a common event in Nigeria.
The spills occur due to a number of causes, including corrosion of pipelines and tankers, sabotage and inadequate or non-functional production equipment.
People in the affected areas complain about health issues including breathing problems and skin lesions. Many have lost basic human rights such as health, access to food, clean water, and an ability to work.
- CAJ News