Senate panel accuses multinationals of flouting gas flaring laws
THE Senate Committee on Gas yesterday blamed the increasing incidence of gas flaring on the failure of the multinational oil companies to adhere strictly to the provisions of the Gas Flaring Act in the country.
In a speech at the inaugural meeting of the committee at the National Assembly, Chairman of the committee, Senator Bassey Albert Akpan yesterday also said the laws were being violated due to excessive ministerial powers and the incontrovertible position of the NNPC.
Akpan said, “Despite the various policies regulating the sector, routine gas flaring still continues, companies are even more satisfied paying penalties and the mechanism available to government to curb these irregularities are not fully utilised due to excessive ministerial permissions, limited legislation, and the incontrovertible position of NNPC in the joint ventures,” he said.
He said his committee would critically look into the economic, health and environmental degradation of the oil-bearing communities caused by the continuous gas flaring.
“Strong and effective legal framework must be put in place and sanction enforced against erring multinational companies to act as deterrence. The time to act is now,” he said.
According to him, “A recent government statistics have shown that there is an increase of about 36.8 percent of cooking gas usage in Nigeria in the past three years, while over 80 percent of Nigerian household still rely on kerosene, firewood and dangerous energy sources.
“The committee will ensure that the Federal Government agenda of encouraging more Nigerians to embrace the usage of LPG which is clean, safe and affordable is achieved,” he said.
He added that his committee would explore legal and institutional frameworks for oil and gas operations in Nigeria towards devising a strategic document that will complement the existing gas policies.