A bill that seeks to put in place harsher punishment for companies responsible for oil spillage in the country scaled second reading at the Senate yesterday even as Nigeria will lose over $4 billion as a result of the Bonga oil spill.
This was revealed in a bill sponsored by Senator Bukola Saraki, which seeks to amend the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Act 2006.
According to Senator Saraki who led the debate on the Bill, "The cost of spilling oil in Nigeria may be a stain on the company's reputation but not on its profit margins.
"A major highlight of this bill is the very robust penalty regime, which aims at encouraging environmental responsibility and care.
The overall principle is that the polluter must pay. The benefit of this penalty regime is to cause operators to take more care to avoid spills and take proactive steps to nip in the bud any impending spill without much ado.
While recounting that the recent oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico cost British Petroleum (BP) a total of $40bn, he noted in Nigeria for oil spill of the same magnitude or more, the affected individuals and families will get bags of rice, beans, and blankets and bread.