Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Niger Delta: NA Petition On Gas Flaring Deadline

Niger Delta: Groups Petition National Assembly On 2008 Gas Flaring Deadline

By Akanimo Sampson
Port Harcourt

Civil Society leaders and community representatives that are very active in the agitation for socio-economic, political, and environmental justice for the peoples of the Niger Delta, Nigeria's main oil and gas basin, have petitioned their National Assembly, demanding for a legislation compelling oil companies and the government to end gas flaring this 2008.

In a public memorandum, endorsed by 13 organisations, the groups said previous deadlines set for gas flare-out was disrespected because they were not legally binding. Following pressure from big oil companies in Nigeria, the federal government late last year shifted its deadline for ending gas flaring from 31 December 2007 to 31 December 2008.

The groups described this new extension as “distressing”, reasoning that promises by previous governments since the 1970s to halt gas flaring has been broken again and again. “Even the 2005 Federal High Court ruling declaring gas flaring illegal does not seem to count. Shell and the other oil giants have continued with this dangerous practice while government looks the other side, imposing a small fine which the companies prefer to pay. As it were, communities in the Niger Delta are the biggest losers in this disgraceful act”, they said.

According to Isaac Osuoka, Director of Social Action, “the 2008 flare-out date was yet another concession to oil companies operating in Nigeria. The Nigerian government and national assembly must confront the impudence of the oil companies by legislating on the 2008 deadline for gas flaring. We cannot continue to toy with the lives of our citizens or condone the wastage of our national energy assets”.

The groups, comprising Social Action, Environmental Rights Action (ERA), Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Benin River Forum, Niger Delta Women for Justice (NDWJ), Stakeholder Democracy Network, Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Federated Niger Delta Ijaw Communities, Centre for Human Rights, Environment and Development, Ogoni Solidarity Forum, Egi Forum, and the United Action for Democracy (UAD) , demanded as follows:

• The National Assembly should, as a matter of urgency, enact a legislation that compels all oil producing companies to end gas flaring in 2008 as called for by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR). Previous flare-out dates have been violated by the oil companies despite the 2005 ruling by a federal high court which declared gas flaring as illegal and a gross violation of fundamental right to life.

• The National Assembly should enact legislation that compels government and the oil companies to harness associated gas, which is presently flared, for power generation for the communities of the Niger Delta and to feed the national grid.

• There needs to be a participatory audit of gas flaring to ascertain damage and effect compensation to community victims. The National Assembly should enact legislation to compel the Government to conduct this audit.

• The National Assembly should compel all oil producing companies to stop crude oil production in any oil field where gas is still being flared as called for by the DPR. According to a November 2007 report by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), more than 70 percent (177 out of 139) of the oil fields in Nigeria still flare gas.

• The National Assembly should legislate to ensure that the fines announced by DPR for 2008 are imposed and that all revenues are dedicated to a ‘Special Community Health Fund’ which will help deal with the direct and indirect health impacts of flaring and oil operations. ENDS


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Scoop HiveMind Project: Universal Basic Income - Are We Up For It?

This is an opportunity for you as one of the 4 million potential funders and recipients of a Universal Basic Income to collectively consider the issue:
1. Is UBI is a desirable policy for New Zealand; and
2. How should a UBI system work in practice. More>>


Lyndon Hood: National Announces Plan To Hit Youth With Big Mallets

The National party has announced its youth justice policy, which includes a controversial plan for recidivist serious youth offenders to be hit over the head with a comically large rubber mallet. More>>


Lyndon Hood: This ->

It's been brought to my attention that Labour's new campaign slogan is "Let's do this". A collective call to action. A mission. I myself was halfway out of the couch before I realised I wasn't sure what it was I was supposed to do. More>>


Scoop Hivemind Report: What New Zealanders Think About Affordable Housing

Ordinary citizens have had very few venues where they can debate and discuss as to what they believe has led to the crisis in affordable housing and how we might begin to address this. The HiveMind on affordable housing was about redressing the balance. More>>


New Hivemind Exploration: Opening The Election - Freshwater Quality

This is an opportunity for you as one of the 4 million guardians of our common water resources to help us find mutually agreeable solutions to the critical task of collectively managing these resources for health and sustainability. More>>