Environment: Dickson tasks oil companies

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YENAGOA – Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa has charged multinational oil companies in Niger Delta to commit a reasonable percentage of revenue in protecting where they operate.

Dickson gave charge in his address at an event organised to celebrate 2014 World Day in Yenagoa on .

He said extractive industries needed to do more to compensate for the degradation of the .

“I want to appeal to the extractive industry, especially the multinational oil companies to plough back reasonable portions of revenue into protecting the environment which they have perforated in the course of operations.”

Dickson, who represented by his deputy, Rear Admiral John Jonah (rtd.), said the soliciting the support of the international community and the UN to hold the oil companies accountable for the contravention of environmental laws.

He argued the activities of the oil companies had adversely affected the environment and destroyed its natural resources.

“Indeed, the sustained exploitation of the state’s renewable and non-renewable natural resources has adversely affected our environment.

“This drastic situation is further compounded by the spread of water hyacinth to all fresh and brackish waters, rivers and creeks in the state, which blocks most creeks and rivulets during dry .”

He said Bayelsa faced great environmental danger considering its peculiar situation, “with the grim reality of increasing greenhouse effect, global warming, sea level rise, marine pollution and ecological threats”.

In his welcome address, the Bayelsa Commissioner for Environment, Mr Iniruo Wills, said the celebration the activity of a week-long programme of events by the state to mark the World Evironment Day.

According to Wills, the theme of this year’s celebration aims to highlight the need to protect small islands developing states in the face of risks and vulnerabilities caused primarily by climate change.

The commissioner observed that Bayelsa falls into the category of small islands states, a situation that has compelled the state and its people to raise voices in favour of a harmonious and healthy environment.

“As a people, we are expected to raise our voices in favour of the environment, moreso as our natural ecological challenges as a state are gravely accentuated by and industrial activities.

“These celebrations aim to bring to the fore the adverse effect of environmental degradation including the impact of climate change.”

The World Environment Day is celebrated globally on June 5 every year.

The 2014 celebration has its theme as “Raise Your Voice, the Sea Level”. (NAN)