Following continued flaring of gas in the Niger Delta region by oil companies operating in the area and the non-challant attitude of the federal government towards enforcement of extant legislations on gas flaring body of attorney-general in the South-South States have condemned in strong terms the ignominious act by the oil companies. They have also called on the federal government to immediately stop gas flaring, pay to the States in accordance with the provisions of Section 162 of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), their share of the revenue that ought to have accrued to the federation account from the flared and or wasted natural gas, as well as recover from the oil companies the outstanding proyalties for gas flaring running into trillions of naira and pay some into the federation Account for sharing in accordance with Section 162 of the Constitution.
The position of the Attorneys-General was contained in a communiqué issued in Uyo at the end of a two-day meeting held at Le Meridien Hotel and Golf Resort.
The communiqué signed by the Attorney general of Akwa Ibom State, Barr. Uwemedimo Nwoko, that of Bayelsa State, Barr. Kemasuode Wodu, the Cross River State Counterpart, Barr. Joseph Oshie Abang, and Barr. Peter Mrakpor of Delta State, and a copy made available to The Sensor, noted with regret the quantum of gas flared annually by the oil companies.
While declaring support for the current war against crude oil theft, the body frowned at the manner in which the recovered crude oil is blown up and burnt in the communities thereby endangering innocent lives and destroying the environment and demanded that federal government devises a more environmentally friendly plan of managing and disposed of recovered stolen crude oil.
Lending their voice on calls on the oil companies to comply with the admonition of Vice President Yemi Osibanjo that oil companies should establish operational offices in their areas of operation. This, the body said is in line with provisions of Section 25, 26 and 27 of Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010. It also called on the Nigerian Content Development Management Board and the Federal Government to enforce the provisions of the Act.
Meanwhile, the body has noted with grave concern the frequency of crude oil spillages in the region occasioned by the operations of the oil companies and the constant of these companies to pay compensation and carry out effective clean-up and remediation. It has therefore called on the federal government and its agencies to ensure that oil companies discharge their statutory duties by carrying out their operations in a pollution free manner and paying compensation as well as carry out clean-up and remediation whenever spills occur.
In a related development, the Body of Attorneys-general in the South-South States has commended the developmental strides of their respective States despite the present economic challenges. The Body has particularly commended and expressed appreciation to the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel for his people oriented policies which it said has benefited the greater majority of the citizenry. The Body also expressed appreciation to the state Attorney-General and commissioner for Justice, Barr. Uwemedimo Nwoko for the successful hosting of the two day meeting. This, the Body said has further proved that the State is the most friendly State in the country.