Senate plans legislation to curb environmental degradation

18 April 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA - In the aftermaths of the recent Total Nigeria gas explosion that devastated many communities in Rivers State, the Nigeria Senate is to develop a legal framework to curb abuse, pollution and degradation of the environment, according to chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment, Bukola Saraki.

Senator Saraki, who disclosed this in Abuja, was reacting to last weekend’s gas explosion on a Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (TEPNL) platform in Rivers State.

The gas leak has affected the environment in several communities in Ogba/Egbema/ Ndoni Local Government Area in Rivers State.

Saraki maintained that the Senate “will no longer tolerate a situation where our collective environment is flagrantly abused, polluted and degraded by all manner of commercial activities.”

He stated that complaints so far received by his committee on the explosion showed that farmlands, forests, wetlands and other vital economic and environmental resources of the communities in the area had been devastated.

He urged government agencies charged with the responsibility of protecting the environment to move to restore the livelihood of the impacted communities.

Saraki also called on Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, to “take adequate and necessary steps to contain the situation, decontaminate the impacted area and ameliorate the hardship the incident might have posed to these communities.”