AGIP, JTF activities in Niger Delta under review by parliament

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TAgip Oil Company in Nigeria andthe Joint Task Force (JTF) have come under the search light of  the House of Representatives for the despoliation of the Niger Delta region and the effects of burning confiscated refining equipments by the latter.

Ad-hoc Committee by the House of Representatives on the issue is to undertake the investigation following a resolution of the 6th of August, 2015.

The Committee Chairman, Hon. Naisru Sule Garo stated that the committee assignment was to find out the operational modes and equipment of Agip Oil Company in Nigeria and make comparative analyses of same elsewhere in the world.

The committee will also look into would-be effects of burning confiscated refining equipment by the Joint Task Force (JTF) in the region so as to end such and bring succour to the long suffering people of the Niger Delta.

The scope of the Investigation include looking at the activities of the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta Area, especially as they relate to the burning and destruction of equipment seized from illegal Refinery operators.

“Investigate the Activities of Agip Oil Company with a view to ensuring that it carries out improvement of its facilities to forestall any such further incident in the future and also determine the circumstances which led to the unfortunate death of the fourteen (14) persons in Azuzuoma community of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area in Bayelsa State;

“Determine the steps being taken by the Joint Task Force in conjunction with other relevant agencies such as the Federal Ministry of Environment, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and the Federal Ministry of Health to forestall further degradation of the Niger Delta environment, and report back to the House within six weeks”, he said.

He said that as part of the means of getting first-hand information on the subjects of investigation, the committee would travel to make on the-spot assessment of the Agip facilities as well as the effects of burning of seized illegal refining equipment by the JTF on the environment.

“Sequel to the House mandate on AGIP, the Committee will be visiting AGIP installations in the region to ascertain the integrity of their equipment to make sure that they are comparable to what obtains in other parts of the world.

“This breifing is therefore to inform you that the committee has dispatched letters to all relevant stakeholders asking for information. Memoranda and position papers which will help us in conducting this all important assignment”, Hon. Garo said.

On the issue of adequate funding to help insulate the committee from possible inducement by vested interests, the lawmaker pointed out the need for Nigerians to stop seeing the National Assembly budget as money meant to be shared by lawmakers.

He said the money allocated to the National Assembly as an arm of government is used to fund public hearing, oversight visits such as they were about undertaking as well as salaries and allowances of both civil servants and lawmakers which makes it very inadequate.

He however assured of the committee’s commitment to due diligence and to discharge its responsibility without fear or favour.

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