Lagos — Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action Mr. Nnimmo Bassey has given suggestion on how the federal government can promote the nation's oil and gas industry.
He wants government to enact people and environment friendly Petroleum Industry Bill and also review the National Oil Spillage Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) Act in order to discourage pollution.
He advised the federal government to be proactive in its desire to stop illegal gas flaring in the sector.
He said the spate of pipeline vandalisation and crude oil theft is worrisome and must urgently be addressed by thr federal government.
He said: "Those are issues that must be handled urgently. They are crimes and those involved should be held accountable. It must, however, not be used as a cover to criminalize communities and the poor.
"Oil theft is of the magnitude that cannot be explained by the illegal refineries or the little boats and barges that the JTF is happy to bomb or to burn. Bombing or burning them basically compounds the pollution problem and does not seriously discourage others.
"Secondly, judging from the volumes of crude oil being stolen daily, it is only the powerful and the well connected who can carry out such international businesses on that scale."