NEWS

Reps Summons NNPCL CEO, Oil Firms Over Environmental Damage In Host Communities

The invitation was issued by Hon Pondi Julius Gbabojor, Chairman of the House Committee on Environment, during an investigative hearing.

By Musa Ibrahim

The House of Representatives’ joint committee has summoned Mr. Mele Kyari, the Group CEO of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), to appear on May 8, 2024, regarding an investigation into environmental degradation caused by oil companies in oil-rich communities.

The invitation was issued by Hon Pondi Julius Gbabojor, Chairman of the House Committee on Environment, during an investigative hearing.

Other oil company CEOs and relevant government agencies are also summoned.

Gbabojor emphasized the seriousness of the matter, warning of sanctions for non-compliance. Companies summoned include Chevron Nigeria Limited, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, Total Energies, Oando Oil Limited, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, and Seplat Energy.

Government agencies summoned include the Nigerian Midstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, the National Oil Spill Detection Response Agency, and the National Environmental Standards Regulations and Enforcement Agency.

During the initial probe, only four out of 35 invited entities attended, with the National Environmental Standards Regulations and Enforcement Agency providing an explanation for their absence. However, committee members expressed dissatisfaction with the late submission of relevant documents by those who did attend.

Gbabojor said, “We will write another letter to everybody. They should turn up to answer questions on issues pertaining to degradation of the environment due to the activities of oil companies.

“They have to be here on the 8th of May. If anybody fails to show up then we would now decide as a committee on what to do. I want to believe that there was enough time. Two letters were sent, there was ample time for them to see the letters and duly honour. But for putting on a human face, we would still give another time to do so.”

Earlier, during his opening remarks, Tajudeen Abbas, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, emphasized the importance of environmental protection.

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