Reps move to compel Oil & Gas Companies to stop gas flaring, provide 24-hour electricity to Delta Communities
By JONATHAN LOIS
The House of Representatives on Tuesday called on Federal Government to compel the oil and gas producing companies engaged in the flaring of gas to convert gases to electricity for the benefit of the host Communities.
The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion on the need to compel the Operators to ‘stop gas flaring and convert same to provide 24-hour electricity to Isoko/Ndokwa/Ukwani Federal Constituency of Delta State’, jointly sponsored by Hon. Jonathan Ajioghene Ukodhiko and Hon. Nnamdi Ezechi who expressed grave concern over the impacts of the gas flaring on the socio-economic and health of their Constituents.
In his lead debate, Hon. Ukodhiko who acknowledged that Nigeria is a major gas producer, with significant waste being flared around the world, with a large chunk being flared as waste.
“The House also notes that Isoko and Ndokwa/Ukwuani Federal Constituencies in Delta State contributes significantly to the nation’s oil and gas hosting with over eight flow stations and gas facilities, impacted by flaring activities.
“The House further notes that the flared gas resources, a major and cheap source of electricity capable of taking care of the power needs of the host communities and even beyond that can in turn, stimulate the economic growth of the country through small and medium-scale businesses.
“The House is aware that the volume of gas being flared has devastated effects on the lives and property of the Isoko and Ndokwa/Ukwuani host communities ranging from various ailments associated with the smoke-polluted environment to corrosion that destroys roofing sheets and poor agricultural output as a result of intense heat on the environment.
“The House is distributed that in spite of the huge contributions to the oil and gas wealth of the nation with attendant environmental and health hazards, Isoko and Ndokwa/Ukwuani Federal Constituencies have been in a total blackout, though the electricity can be easily tapped from the wasted gas resources.
“The House is also distributed that the staff of these International Oil Companies and other oil and production companies working within Isoko and Ndokwa/Ukwuani lands live in extravagant comfort with 24-hour electricity generated internally for operational bases and residential areas while the host communities and their environs live in squalor, watching helplessly the opulent lifestyle of the companies with their only offence being host communities.
“The House is concerned that the deliberate refusal by the oil and gas companies and the successive administrations to permanently tackle the infrastructural deficit like electricity that could have been easily generated from the wasted gases have over the years made Isoko and Ndokwa/Ukwuani lands as well as other communities in the Niger Delta region a hotbed for protest and agitations that have sometimes crippled the economy and loss of precious human lives.
“The House believes that with the environmental hazards of gas flaring resulting to the humongous revenue loss, there is an urgent need to compel the oil and gas companies to activities their Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) and provide electricity to the Communities in Isoko and Ndokwa/Ukwuani lands from the flared gas through gas turbines by taking advantage of the recent Electricity Act of 2023.”
To this end, the House urged Federal Ministries of Power, Petroleum Resources and other relevant Agencies of government to compel the oil and gas producing companies engaged in the flaring of gas to convert gases to electricity for the benefit of the people of Isoko and Ndokwa/Ukwuani Federal Constituencies.
While ruling on the motion, Speaker Tajudeen Abbas mandated the joint Committees on Power, Gas and Environment (when constituted) to ensure compliance.