YENAGOA—BAYELSA State Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson has lamented the environmental despoliation in the Niger Delta saying the region records about 40 million litres of oil spill annually as against 4 million litres recorded annually in the United States.
Dickson in a statement issued in Yenagoa ahead of the formal inauguration of Bayelsa State Oil and Environmental Commission slated for DSP Alamieyeseigha Banquet Hall, today, said the state has suffered vast environmental and human damage in spite of her contribution to the socio-economic growth of the country.
He said:”The Niger Delta region records about 40 million litres of oil spill annually as against 4 million litres being recorded annually in the United States.
“Bayelsa State accounts for forty percent of Nigeria’s oil wealth and hosts the operations of all the major multinational oil companies.
“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 and leading to environmental degradation and loss of human life.”
On the danger posed by the oil spill, the governor while citing the 2011 United Nations Environment Programme report, disclosed that life expectancy in the Niger Delta is around 10 years lower than that of the national average.
He posited further that “oil spills in the Niger Delta can lead to as much as a 60 percent reduction in household food security, reduce the ascorbic acid content of vegetables by as much as 36 percent, and can decrease the crude protein content by up to 40 percent.”
Dickson said the commission investigate the environmental and human damage caused by operations of oil companies.