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Oil companies polluting environment to be sanctioned – FG

The Minister of Environment, Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, has said his ministry will henceforth sanction any international oil company that pollutes the environment. The minister spoke…

The Minister of Environment, Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, has said his ministry will henceforth sanction any international oil company that pollutes the environment.

The minister spoke at the 12th National Regulatory Dialogue on Implementation of National Environmental Regulations, organised by the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), in Abuja.

He said, “The federal government is conscious of the state of environmental degradation in the country and is making a strong effort in addressing the situation.

“The federal government is also making efforts toward effective management, conservation and protection of the biological resources in our environment for sustainable development.

“Accordingly, the federal government will henceforth hold the international oil companies accountable for the massive pollution of our environment and its ecosystem.

“The government is set to institute an environmental task force, especially on oil pollution, and will monitor, track, evaluate and sanction these erring companies and their local collaborators.

He reiterated that apart from pollution, there is fragrant abuse of the country’s coastlines, mangroves, and natural habitats in the guise of prospecting or exploiting the country’s biodiversity resources.

“The government will apply the principle of ‘polluter- pays’ to help in remediation efforts of polluted communities,” he said.

Abdullahi said that the Federal Government had put in place institutional framework and regulations to ensure effective environmental protection and implementation of national policy on the environment.

The Director-General of NESREA, Prof. Aliyu Jauro, on his part, urged stakeholders to comply with the regulations and policies of the agency.

He said eight out of the existing 38 regulations under the purview of the agency would be constantly reviewed to ensure they respond to evolving environmental challenges.

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