This Day (Lagos)

31 October 2012

Nigeria: CLO Writes Jonathan, National Assembly Over Toxic Waste in Bayelsa

The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) has written to the President Goodluck Jonathan and the leadership of the National Assembly over the alleged act of dumping of drums of suspected toxic wastes on Bayelsa State waterways by the Italian oil giant, Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) recently.

Specifically, the CLO said the wastes were dumped along the creeks and waterways of the Nembe kingdom, where a former Minister of Petroleum Affairs and oil industry technocrat, Dr. Edmund Daukoru, is the traditional ruler.

The CLO in a statement issued by the state Chairman, Chief Nengi James, described the action of the oil multinational as unacceptable and provocative to the youths of the affected clans in Nembe Local Government Area of the state.

According to CLO, a report by an investigation team it set up showed that over 30 drums of toxic materials have been dumped along the Sabatoru-Etiama area.

"The act of dumping toxic wastes in drums and abandoning them in the mangrove forest is unacceptable and the act contravenes the provided environmental regulations as it is against international best practices."

James observed that "from its fact findings and visits to the dump site, the CLO discovered that 30 drums of toxic crude oil wastes have been dumped into the mangrove along Sabatoru-Etiama axis in Nembe Kingdom where Agip is currently carrying out replacement of its obsolete pipelines.

"While we are condemning the negligence of NAOC, CLO regretted that multinational oil companies in Nigeria have continued to spill oil with impunity, despite it health and environmental hazards. CLO therefore urged the National Assembly to expedite action on the proposed bill that will call erring multinationals to order and address the incessant vexing cases of crude oil spills in Nigeria."

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