Nigeria’s gas flaring deadline is not realisable

Oct 12, 2005 02:00 AM

As the deadline for multi-national oil companies in the country to end gas flaring by 2008 draws nearer, a member of Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon. Nimbofa Ayawei, said the date is not realisable because of the Federal Government lack of political will to enforce it.
Ayawei, who is the Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Petroleum, Gas, Environment and Pollution, said if the Federal Government has the political will to address the menace of gas flaring, it can stop it even before the 2008 deadline.
"But as it is," he said, "the political will to enforce this deadline is not there."

"Gas flaring will end the very moment the Federal Government muster the political will to address the problem squarely."
"For a very long time, the Federal Government has been mouthing 2008 as the deadline for the various multi-national oil companies to end gas flaring in the country. But the pertinent question is whether the Federal Government has the capacity and the will to enforce it. The answer is no because it cannot do it. Very soon it will come up with one funny reason to push the deadline forward.”

"This lack of political will by the Federal Government is also at the bedrock of the local content campaign. Since the policy came on board, how many oil companies have implemented it? What happened to those oil companies which did not implement the policy in their operations? No sanction, nothing whatsoever.”
"That is why the multi-national oil companies have continued in their old ways of carrying out exploration and exploitation activities at the determents of the people of the host communities without anybody raising an eye brow," he said.

He noted that the absence of standards, and the in some cases, the inability to adhere to them were responsible for the poor development of the oil industry in the country. According to him, Nigerians are holding the short end of the stick in the operations of the oil industry because our people are not yet in charge of the its core operations.
"We are very disadvantaged in the operations of the oil industry. We do not even know what is going on. The Federal Government does not even know our daily oil and gas production beyond what the oil companies tell them. They import all manner of materials at very exorbitant prices from their home countries and build them into their production cost. And because profit is only shared after the production expenses have been deducted, we are being short changed over the years," he said.

He added that Nigerians particularly those in the oil producing counties would only begin to reap the benefits of having crude oil in their land when "our own people are in charge of the entire operations of the oil industry from discovery to export."
The lawmaker said the absence of Nigerians at the helm of affairs in the core areas of operations in the oil industry was responsible for the disparity in the living standards of the people in the oil producing counties and the expatriate workers in the oil companies.

He lauded the people of the state for remaining calm in the face of the problems of Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha in London, even as appealed for a quick resolution of the matter.
"Our governor should be release to us without further delay. This is because his absence is affecting many things in the state," he said.

Source: This Day
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