The House of Representatives has directed the Federal Government to sanction Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) for allegedly violating Nigeria’s environmental laws.
The House made the demand at Tuesday’s plenary session after considering a motion sponsored by 15 lawmakers.
Henry Nwawuba, the lead sponsor, said environmental pollution in the Niger Delta is caused by poor production practices and inadequate maintenance of oil infrastructure.
He alleged that the two oil companies have failed to clean up areas affected by oil spills and have also refused to pay compensation to the affected families.
“The house is concerned that both Shell Petroleum Company (SPDC) and Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) have failed to clean up affected areas and compensate the affected families, neither have they repaired damages caused by fire outbreaks arising from the spills dispersed by flood which destroyed other sources of livelihood in the region,” the motion read.
Nwawuba further said activities of the companies have brought untold hardship to the Niger Delta communities which rely on farm produce and fishing for survival.
He noted that the residents are overstressed by the “conflicting involvements of the International oil companies and their operating agents in Ogoni land in the extraction of oil and gas.”
According to the lawmaker, this has “resulted in overlapping damage to the environment, coupled with a growing level of agitation, unemployment, and poor infrastructural development in the communities.”
The motion was subsequently adopted when it was put to a voice vote by Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house.
The house mandated its committees on environment and host communities to liaise with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), and the oil companies to assess the damage in the affected communities.