Delta state governor advocates for stiffer punishment on firms engaged in gas flaring

Delta state governor, has urged the Federal Government to impose stiffer punishments on oil firms engaged in gas flaring in the country in order to prevent curb environmental hazards.

Gov. Okowa made the call during a visit by Course 41 of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, led by Major-Gen. Felix Edafioghor in Asaba
on Monday.

The governor of the oil rich state said: "If you go to where gas is flared, which is still very common, you will understand why we need to be more serious about taking decisions to stop the flaring.

"Stopping gas flaring will be so much better for our people because the flared gas has already destroyed the environment, not just the natural habitat in terms of farming."

"It has also polluted very badly the air that we breathe."

"Only God knows the level of damage that it has caused and we believe that the laws must be implemented in such a manner that gas flaring is not just tied up to fines."

"This is because, as long as gas flaring is tied to fines, the oil companies begin to realise that it may be cheaper or easier to pay the fines than to stop the flaring of gas."

"Then, we obviously are not discouraging them."

He added that government must "stay on our laws and ensure that we do what is right and stop tying the issue of gas flaring to fines.

"This is because continually tying gas flaring to fines is injurious to our people and our environment,'' he said.

He condemned the damaging effect on the environment in the course of oil exploration.

"This has also been worsened by the regularity of illegal bunkering activities that takes place in the state in which a lot of damage is done to our environment."

"The damage constitute both agricultural and health hazard to the people," he said.

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