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Reps To Investigate JTF Over Illegal Refineries In N/Delta

House of Representatives will setup an ad hoc committee to investigate the activities of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta area relating to the burning and destruction of equipment seized from illegal refineries.

The House also mandated the ad hoc committee (when constituted) to investigate the activities of Nigerian Agip Oil Company with a view to ensuring that it carries out improvement of its facilities to forestall any such incident in the future and also determine the circumstance that led to the death of 14 people in Azuzuama community.

In a motion entitled “urgent need to bring an end to the despoliation of the Niger Delta environment through the burning of equipment confiscated from illegal operators of refineries” raised by Hon. Douye Diri, Hon, Leo Ogor and 12 others yesterday noted that the JTF which was setup in 2004 was to protect pipelines, prevent the operation of illegal refineries and generally maintain peace, law and order in the Niger Delta.

It said that the communities in the area suffer from effects of burning and destruction of oil tools and equipment seized from operators of illegal oil refineries, which is not done according to internationally accepted best practises adding that it has greatly polluted the environment.

It also contained that the fire outbreak in Azuzuama community in Bayelsa State on July 9, 2015 was as a result of the use of dilapidated infrastructure and equipment by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company an incident that led to the death of 14 persons.

The motion which was unanimously agreed upon by the House which was presided over by the Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara also resolved that the ad hoc committee will determine steps taken by the JTF in conjunction with other relevant agencies such as the Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the National Oil Spill Detection Response Agency (NOSDRA) to forestall further degradation of the Niger Delta.

-Dyepkazah Shibayan, Abuja

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