Monday, 27 March 2017

Imo State Legislature assesses the Oil and Gas Industry in compliance to corporate social responsibility, regulations, according to international standard to protect the people and environment.



This story was sent in by Nometa Ujunwa from Imo State.

Today March 27th 2017, the 3rd house 8th assembly of Imo state house of assembly committee on petroleum (oil and gas) ably led by Hon. Henry Uzoma Ezediaro as chairman and Hon. Emmanuel Orie as deputy chairman had an interactive session with representatives of some oil companies operating in Imo state.

The chairman in his remarks after an opening prayer, welcomed everyone present to the legislative interactive meeting for the upstream operators in the oil and gas sector of our economy and the relevant government regulatory agencies in Imo State.

Today's meeting is apt and timely at this time of our recession, in the sense that we have come to look into new ways to improve on the relationship that exist between the oil companies and their host communities in Imo State, for a stable oil production to enhance the nation's economic recovery that will see us through the recession.

Essentially, this meeting is geared towards galvanizing the relationship with the State Government Regulatory Agencies and the Federal in carrying out regulatory activities in the oil and gas sector in Imo State. This will foster a symbiotic relationship that will create a synergy for proper and effective regulatory functions according to international standard. This is part of our legislative oversight mandate in the Imo State House of Assembly.

Also, to look into some burning issues that concerns the environment and welfare of the people of Oil Producing Communities that will cushion the hard effects of oil exploration and exploitation.

The issue of environmental standard regulation and international best practices is critical in the oil and gas sector of our economy for stability and sustenance of oil and gas production.

The oil and gas industry operations include exploration and exploitation, development, refining, marketing and transportation activities. This type of pollution or pollutants discharged into the environment from the various activities varies, so are the impacts on the environment and resultant effects on the communities. Essentially, pollution of the environment arising from theses activities emanates from the operation effluent discharges, like drill cuttings, produced formation waters, as well as from accidental oil spills which may be caused by equipment malfunction, blow out, corrosion, sabotage, human errors or natural causes etc. All these and more are responsible for environmental degradation in the oil and gas producing areas, hence they pose great challenges to the operators.

Major environmental issues in petroleum industry which greatly concern and perhaps bring about community agitations or conflicts, if not properly handled, include:

(a). Oil Spill and Clean Up Operations.
(b). Gas Flaring.
(c). Compensation Payments/ Community Conflicts.
(d). Non compliance to community MOU by oil companies.
(e). Non compliance to issues of corporate social responsibilities by oil companies.

There are numerous petitions and records of agitations, conflicts from the Host communities on how the oil companies have been operating under the obnoxious colonial policy of ' DIVIDE AND RULE ' to evade compensations, corporate social responsibilities as well as palliative measures geared towards cushioning the harsh effects of oil exploration and exploitation activities.

The House committee on oil and gas, views these complaints with all amount of seriousness, hence it considered it most expedient, as our constitutional responsibility to call for this interface with you concerning these reports.

In respect of this development therefore, the committee has mandated all the oil companies operating in Imo State to send us report of the following beginning from 2015 till date.

(a). RECORD OF COMPLIANCE TO CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES IN AREAS OF YOUR OPERATIONS.

1. MOU: With Host Communities
2. Health Facilities
3. Educational facilities (for formal and informal, skill acquisition)
4. Social Amenities (Civic centres, markets, sports facilities etc.)
5. Water
6. Electricity
7. Road Infrastructure
8. Agricultural assistance.

(b). CONTINGENCY PLAN FOR OIL SPILL RESPONSE
1. i.e Spill Prevention, control and counter measure plan. ( SPCCP)
2. Clean Up.
3. Remediation
4. Integrity survey of oil pipelines.

(c). ENVIRONMENTAL AUDIT REPORT OF YOUR OPERATIONAL AREAS.
1. Air
2. Soil
3. Water (Surface and underground)
4. Human Beings
5. Vegetation.

The representatives of Adax petroleum, Mr. Obi Emeka (community relation manager), Mr. Emmanuel of SPDC (community relation personnel), Mr. Oparaji Passy, (CLO watersmith) were urged to submit a formal report on the issues above to the office of the chairman committee on oil and gas Imo State House of Assembly on or before the 10TH of April 2017. This is in line with Chapter II, section 20 of the Nigeria constitution as amended in 2011.

MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE PRESENT ARE;

HON HENRY U. EZEDIARO,
MEMBER REPRESENTING OGUTA STATE CONSTITUENCY,
CHAIRMAN HOUSE COMMITTEE OIL AND GAS.

HON EMMA C ORIE,
MEMBER REPRESENTING OHAJI EGBEMA STATE CONSTITUENCY,
CHAIRMAN HOUSE COMMITTEE ON COMMUNICATIONS, SDC'S.
DEPUTY CHAIRMAN, HOUSE COMMITTEE ON OIL AND GAS.

HON. BARR. ARTHUR EGWIM 
MEMBER REPRESENTING IDEATO SOUTH (MEMBER) 

HON. DONATUS ONUIGWE 
MEMBER REPRESENTING ORU WEST. 
(MEMBER).




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