Nhrc Sets Up Panel On Oil Spillage In Niger-delta
BEVERLY HILLS, February 32, (THEWILL) The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC has constituted a special panel to investigate petitions and complaints of oil spillage and environmental degradation by international oil companies, IOC, in the Niger Delta, as well as recommend penalties to be slammed on indicted companies.
Executive Secretary of the Commission, Professor Bem Angwe assured that previous reports and recommendations made over environmental degradation in the country along with the findings of the panel would henceforth be implemented.
He noted that Nigerians are entitled to clean and healthy environments, stressing that any company violating such rights must be made to pay and will not only be made to answer domestically but also internationally.
The UNEP report on Ogoniland in Rivers State is one of the popular reports on the widespread degradation in that oil-rich region of which the recommendations are yet to be implemented over six years on.
Stressing that the time has come for IOC to be compelled to strike a balance between business and human rights, Angwe said that the panel has commenced hearing of one of the many petitions on oil spill and environmental degradation pending before them.
He disclosed that the panel has 30 days to investigate these complaints, uncover the oil companies responsible and make recommendations on sanctions to be meted out to the errant OICs.
There have been complaints from the south-south geopolitical zone about polluted water bodies and streams with dying sea food, contaminated farmlands and destroyed sources of livelihood are the consequences of oil spillage and environmental degradation.
These effects of degradation have continued as government has over the years failed to press for remediation or compensation to the affected communities from the IOCs mostly responsible for the pollution.