A Non-Governmental Organisation that focuses on ecological justice in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, We the People, has called on the Federal Government to come up with a framework that would guide multinational oil companies that want to disengage from their areas of operation in the region.
The Executive Director of the group, Ken Henshaw during a press conference on Thursday in Uyo, capital of Akwa Ibom State, said the framework should be produced in collaboration with civil societies and host communities.
Henshaw, while presenting a new report of the organisation titled “Dirty Exit” said the framework should contain a scientifically developed post-hydrocarbon impact assessment report that establishes the exact ecological and livelihood impacts of oil extraction.
He said the framework should also capture the health audit of people located near extraction sites as well as others exposed to oil contamination and gas flaring.
Henshaw said the audit was aimed at unravelling the negative health impacts of exposure to hydrocarbons.
He further said the framework should entail a detailed plan and costing for remediating the ecological, livelihood and health impacts of extraction.
According to the statement: “The Federal Government needs to immediately produce a framework and guide for how oil companies disengage from areas where they have operated. This guide should be developed by a multi-stakeholder group including communities and civil society organizations.”
The group also called on the federal government to compel all the multi-national oil companies operating in the Niger Delta to put on hold their divestment moves until issues concerning the host communities are addressed.
“The federal government should immediately place a moratorium on all oil company divestment in the Niger Delta, pending the ascertaining of issues of community concern,” Henshaw stated.
He also revealed the plan of the organisation to institute legal action against the oil companies and the Federal Government in a situation where the issues were not addressed.