The Federal Government said President Muhammadu Buhari is worried about the oil spill in Nembe and is committed to addressing the cause of the spill, urging attention from all stakeholders towards addressing the problem.
This was disclosed by Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, on Wednesday during an on-the-spot assessment of the oil spill site of the AITEO facility in Bayelsa, alongside Mr Gbenga Komolafe, Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and King Biobelemoye Josiah, traditional ruler of Opu-Nembe Kingdom, among others.
The Minister noted that President Buhari, who is very concerned about the spill, sent him to have an on-the-spot assessment of the situation.
What the Minister said
“He feels the pains of the people and wants urgent steps taken to address the problem,” Sylva said.
He added that the oil spill was a serious environmental concern that needed urgent measures to curtail, noting that no stone would be 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 the situation and will not allow further degradation of the environment,” he added.
He disclosed also, that relevant agencies have been deployed by the FG to tackle the spill.
Mr Gbenga Komolafe, Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) said they were in Basambri on the instructions of the President to see things for themselves, adding that the commission would ensure the operators worked within acceptable international standards to impact positively on people’s lives in the community.
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Nairametrics reported earlier that the federal government directed AITEO Eastern Exploration and Production Company Ltd (AEEPCo), to stop operating in the Nembe oil spill area of Bayelsa State until a proper investigation is carried out.
The Ministry of Environment in a statement said, “The Federal Government has directed the exploration company, AITEO Eastern Exploration and Production Company Limited (AEEPCo), to halt operations in the area until proper investigation is carried out.
“Also, adequate measures will be put in place to ensure the safety of lives and property in the area.”
It can be recalled that the spill occurred on Nov. 5, 2021, in the form of a fountain within the proximity of Opu Nembe Community at Well 1, Wellhead located at the Southern Field of Santa Barbara.