Bayelsa Calls for New Regulations on Assets Divestment, Historical Damage
The Federal government has been urged to develop new regulations on assets divestment and historical liabilities to ensure that international oil companies can no longer walk away with the historical environmental damage they cause.
This call is from the Bayelsa Oil and Environmental Commission, BSOEC which has also asked SHELL, AITEO, the federal and state governments to institute a comprehensive damage control assessment, cleanup, recovery and restitution plan as it concerns the recent oil spillage in Nembe local government area.
The BSOEC in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital which issued a statement said shift in the ownership structure from oil giants to indigenous companies have often times insulated new companies and their predecessors from pressure for accountability, saying they should be liable for historic spills.
It noted that the current catastrophy due to the way oil industries have been structured in the last decade which means the big oil giants are absolved of historical responsibility for environmental damages.
Chairman of the BSOEC, Lord Johnson Tamo described the oil spill caused at the Santa Barbara River in the former SHELL facility in Bayelsa state as an environmental genocide.
The oil spill of over two million barrels of gas and oil has flowed out into the surrounding rivers and waterways into the Atlantic, destroying the environment as well as the livelihood of many farming and fishing communities.