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Reps seek justice, livelihoods restoration for oil spill impacted communities

House of Representatives Committee on Host Communities says it is now poised to discharge its responsibility to communities affected by oil spills.

Bodo-oil-spill
Aftermath of oil spill in Bodo. Photo credit: Leigh Day

Part of the responsibilities is to ensure environmental justice and restoration of livelihoods in impacted communities.

Committee chairman, Mr Dumnamene Dekor, said in a statement on Thursday, April 29, 2021 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, that it had studied recent oil spills in the Niger Delta and had resolved to speedily address the menace.

“Areas like Nembe in Bayelsa and Gbaramatu in Delta among others were reported to have been grossly impacted in recent times.

“The committee is indeed dismayed by the grave distortions and desecration of the environment as well as discomfort associated with oil spills.

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“We are quite aware that lives and living conditions of citizens and residents of the affected communities have been subjected to untold hardships,’’ Dekor stated.

He said the committee would like to initiate payment of adequate compensation and environmental remediation modalities for affected communities.

“Lack of transparency in the management of oil spills has led to short-changing affected communities while some have suffered outright denial of compensations,’’ he added.

He said the committee was also worried about denials and counterclaims by operating companies and regulatory agencies in the region.

Dekor appealed to impacted communities to employ legal measures for redress and involve relevant stakeholders in addressing the challenge of oil spills.

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