Minister of State Petroleum Resources Chief Timipre Sylva, on Wednesday, undertook an on-the-spots assessment of the oil spill site of Aiteo Eastern Exploration Company, in Basambri, Bayelsa State.
During the assessment, the minister said: “Mr. President is very concerned about the spill, that is why he sent me for an on-the-spot assessment of the situation
“He feels the pains of the people and wants urgent steps taken to address the problem.”
The minister noted that the spill was a serious environmental concern that needs urgent measures to contain, noting that no stone would be left unturned in dealing with the environmental problem.
“So much damage has been done to the environment in the Niger Delta region and the government is very much concerned about this situation and would not allow further degradation of the environment.
“That is why the government will take urgent measures to tackle the situation,” he said.
The minister disclosed that the relevant agencies have already been deployed in the area to tackle the oil spill.
“We will need to bring in supports to help us clean up the spill,” Sylva added.
Addressing the Basambri community after inspecting the spill site, Sylva said it was important for him to come to see things for himself to ensure that there was no problem between the oil company and the community.
He expressed the President’s regrets over the spill and noted that “President Buhari will ensure that the situation is immediately remediated.”
Sylva was joined on the inspection by Engr Gbenga Komolafe, CEO of Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC; the traditional ruler of Opu-Nembe Kingdom HRH King Biobelemoye Josiah, and Mr. Israel Adi, member of House of Representatives representing Brass/Nembe Constituency.
Addressing the community, Komolafe said they were in Basambri on the instructions of the President to see things for themselves.
He noted that as regulators in the upstream sector of the economy the Commission will ensure that the operators operate within acceptable international standards that will impact positively on the lives of the people in the oil producing community.
Aiteo, on November 5, reported a major oil leak from its Oil Mining Lease, OML, 29, in Nembe, Bayelsa.
Aiteo acquired OML 29 following the 2015 divestment by Shell.
The well was acquired for $2.4 billion and consists of the 97km Nembe Creek trunk line, which evacuates crude from onshore oil wells within the oil bloc and other operators to Bonny Export Terminal.
Vanguard News Nigeria
Source: All Africas