By Steve Seiya
Niger Delta region has been venerable and very disadvantaged in the scheme of things despite the region producing the national cake. Many people in the region are feeling frustrated and disappointed over the deceptive promises of the multinational oil corporations and the Nigerian government to end gas flaring in the region.
The people at some points have accused the Nigerian government of conniving with oil companies to prolong gas flaring in the region to be receiving more penalty fines. Research by congressng.com revealed that the federal government has given oil companies a deadline to end gas flaring severally but it has been enforcement.
The region has suffered varying negative effects from gas flaring. Many health challenges are associated with the flaring of gas which cuts across polluting the environment and the atmosphere.
It causes noise and serious heat in the environment. Flaring emits black carbon, methane, and volatile organic compounds into the air. Black carbon and methane are both powerful climate forcers and black carbon and VOCs are dangerous air pollutants.
It also causes serious respiratory problems for residents who live in areas of gas flaring. This is why Niger Delta, being prominent with gas flaring, is calling for an end to it.
The probe also suggests that the federal government gave options of fine to these multinational oil companies if they intend to continue the gas flaring. It appears that the companies now preferred the payment of the fines to continue the flaring having considered the fine a cheaper option.
It was gathered that the cost of each 1,000 cubic standard feet is $2.
The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) confirmed that the current penalties for gas flaring in Nigeria officially stands at $2 per 1,000 standard cubic feet (scf), while oil companies producing more than 10,000 barrels per day (bpd) pay a fine of $2 per 1,000 scf of gas flared and companies producing less than 10,000 bpd pay a fine of $0.5.18 Epr 2023.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian government had earlier promised to end gas flaring in Niger Delta in the year 2000. But could not enforce it. It later promised to end gas flaring in 2020 but there was no enforcement. Now the government has promised to end gas flaring in the Niger Delta region in 2030.
The worry is that the latest promise may lack implementation and will end up as a lip service. This among other worries were responsible for the unrest in the region overtimes.
The anger of the region is rising because despite the huge fines paid to the federal government for default by oil companies, the Niger Delta people who received the negative effects of the gas flaring are not considered for the money. No medical treatment to reduce the effects, hence the rising calls.
Written by Congress newspaper.