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  • News - North Central - FCT
  • Updated: May 22, 2024

Reps move to prevent environmental disaster, halt IOC divestment

Reps move to prevent environmental disaster, halt IOC divest

The House of Representatives has directed the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, to halt granting consent to International Oil Companies, IOCs, divesting their interests until they comply with the guidelines for decommissioning and abandonment as outlined in the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA.

This followed a motion by Hon. Ikeagwuonu Onyinye Ugochinyere, which was adopted by the House.

The motion expresses concern that IOCs are closing their operations in Nigeria without following the proper decommissioning and abandonment procedures, as prescribed by NUPRC and the PIA. 

The House also mandated its oil and gas-related committees to investigate the level of compliance with the decommissioning and abandonment guidelines. 

Ugochinyere emphasized that the guidelines are in line with global best practices and are aimed at ensuring environmentally responsible decommissioning and abandonment of petroleum operations.

According to him, most of the international oil companies are divesting their company assets in Nigeria and relocating out of the country, without clearly following or complying with the decommissioning and abandonment guidelines as prescribed by NUPRC and as enshrined in the PIA.

He said that as a result of the exploration and other activities of the international oil companies in the Niger Delta, the region has suffered great environmental degradation for years, with farmlands and water bodies being destroyed, leaving the communities’ ecosystems completely milked and irreparably exploited.

Ugochinyere stated that if consent is given for the divestment of the assets of the international oil companies (IOCs) without ensuring their compliance with the guidelines and regulations put in place, the host communities will suffer irredeemably, and the companies taking over the assets of the IOCs will not be able to remedy the degradation.

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