Assembly Receives Motion On Gas Eruption

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The recent eruption of gas in Egiland of Rivers State, southsouth Nigeria, has been tabled at the Rivers House of Assembly in a motion titled ‘Disaster in the Egi Communities of Egita, Obiebe, Obite and Ogbogu as a result of Gas Eruption’.

The motion was presented by Gift Nwokocha, a member representing Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Constituency 1.

Nwokocha said the aim of the motion is to draw the attention of the House to the negligence of Total Exploration & production Nigeria Limited (E&P) to the people of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area.

The lawmaker disclosed that for the past four decades of the company’s operation in Onelga, instead of contributing to human and economic development of the area, what their host receives as profit is environmental pollution and degradation.

He further explained that due to rig equipment failure at Obite Gas Plant in Egiland of Onelga which resulted in a sudden Gas Eruption from the ground and circulated within and around farmlands, fishing ponds and the Communities, Total E & P Company has refused to apply any contingency measure to stop the gas eruption.

Nwokocha therefore prayed the House to order Total E & P to do everything technically possible to stop further spread of the Gas.

Also speaking, the Chief Whip of the House, Ikuniyi Ibani representing Andoni Constituency, in his submission expressed satisfaction with the presentation of the motion.

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He emphasised that companies operating in the state neglect their host communities because of the nature of the nation’s constitution and urged the House to visit the affected communities to ascertain the level of destruction.

In his contribution, the Deputy Leader of the House, Ewor Nname Robinson representing Ahoada East Constituency 1, said the House should liaise with the Minister of Environment and the Senator representing the Senatorial Zone in the National Assembly to bring an end to the ugly situation.

Earlier, Godstime Ben Horsfall representing Asari-Toru Constituency 11, thanked the Sponsor of the motion, noting that the House should approach the issue systematically by consulting relevant authorities, ministries and agencies before making further pronouncement.

Ruling on the matter, the Speaker, Otelemaba Amachree commended members for their wise approach.

He directed the House Committee on Environment, Energy and Natural Resources, the Commissioner for Environment, Commissioner for Special Duties and Commissioner for Energy to visit the site and report back to the House within two days.

—Okafor Ofiebor Port Harcourt