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LAGOS, FG SET FOR SHOWDOWN OVER OIL LEAKS

Lagos State Coat of Arms
Lagos State Coat of Arms

The Lagos State Government has cautioned the Federal Government on what it what it called indiscriminate arrest of innocent residents around Idimu/Ejigbo areas for activities related to oil pollution of underground water.

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Commissioner For Environment Mr. Tunji Bello who spoke in Lagos said random arrests of residents by men of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC) constitutes infraction on their human right.To serve as deterrence, the Commissioner called on the Community Development Associations (CDAs) and leaders in the affected communities to institute legal actions against the Federal Government over the exposure of their communities to danger by Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

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While expressing support for Government efforts to curb stealing of petroleum products and pipeline vandalisation across the nation, he however frowned at any act that could constitute an infraction on the rights of residents.
“We recollect that successive administrations in the state has drawn the attention of the Federal Government to hazards experienced by residents of  Baruwa- Ipaja, Ilado, Amuwo-Odofin, Ejigbo among others through polluted boreholes, contamination of underground water, ruptured pipelines and seepage of pipelines.

Yet, no visible action has regrettably been taken till date by respective agencies of the Federal Government”. Bello said the state government has records showing that official letters were written by the immediate past Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2000.

He pointed out that the present administration led by Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola equally wrote a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan and Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke respectively complaining about the serious oil pollution and high level of degradation that residents of these areas are daily exposed to without getting any response.

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He explained that the correspondences did not only complain but also suggested to the Federal Government to consider modern methods of protecting oil pipelines across the country including casing and tamper proof warning devices among other contemporary methods.
He noted that there are many other NNPC pipelines in other parts of Lagos that are ruptured and are not being attended to by relevant agencies of the Federal Government.  “A case in point is the Diamond Estate where over 137 boreholes/deep wells are affected by the seepage of petroleum products as a result of pipeline vandalisation destroying the source of portable water of inhabitants.

“Two of the estate’s housing units are now seriously affected while their boreholes have turned into oil wells and without any noticeable remedial action from the NNPC”.
The commissioner called on the NNPC to conduct an integrity test on its numerous pipelines in the state without delay and provide the Lagos State Government with necessary information on how to prevent future re-occurrence.

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