Delta State Governor, Seriake Dickson, yesterday, inaugurated the Bayelsa State Commission of Inquiry on Environmental Degradation.
The eight-member commission is chaired by the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu.
Governor Dickson said the commission, which comprises Nigerian and foreign scholars and experts in various fields, had a three-point terms of reference, which include to investigate the environmental, health, socio-economic, political and human damages caused by operations of multinational oil companies.
He also charged the commission to analyse the legislations governing the operations of multinational oil companies in Bayelsa State and in Nigeria, as well as establish a set of recommendations that would lead to the development of a new legal framework that ensures accountability.
A statement by his Special Adviser on Public Affairs, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as saying Bayelsa had suffered vast environmental and human damage, despite her contribution to the socio-economic growth of the country.
Governor Dickson noted that the state accounts for 40 percent of Nigeria’s oil wealth and hosts the operations of all the major multinational oil companies.
According to him, oil companies operating in the state have, for decades, acted with impunity and with little regard for the environment and people, causing multiple oil spills, leading to environmental degradation and loss of lives.