Friday, January 27, 2012

Oil Spill: What Way Forward?

25 January 2012

... Energy experts from around the world recently converged in Abuja to brainstorm and find lasting ways to tackle Nigeria’s oil spill challenge. JULIET ALOHAN, in this report examines the submissions of these experts and writes that the time for government to act is now.

Oil and gas experts who gathered at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja,at the First Stakeholders’ Roundtable on the Niger Delta Environmental Protection and Regeneration with the  theme: “Ensuring Niger Delta Environmental Sustenance,” last November, focused on finding ways to end Nigeria’s oil spill and environmental degradation challenge.

The forum which was the first ever stakeholders’ roundtable on the subject matter attracted experts from around the world which included Bill Richardson, former governor of the United States  State of New Mexico, erstwhile US Energy Secretary, and ambassador, Howard Jeter, erstwhile US envoy to Nigeria.

Other notable attendees were the President of the Movement of the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Ledum Mitee, Chief Kingsley Kuku, National Security Adviser, Gen. Owoye Azazi, as well as Dr. Gamaliel Onosode.

The forum sought to find ways of increasing environmental protection, ensuring energy security, promoting sustainable production and advancing human development in the region.


Also in his presentation, Country Chairman of SPDC, Mutiu Sunmomu, said blame passing has been the reason why the issue has persisted, noting that in view of the fact that the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime(UNODC) has estimated that over 150,000 barrels of oil  were stolen every day in the Niger Delta which translated to the loss of millions of dollars that could have been used to finance developmental projects, the issue needed to be urgently addressed.

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