The Nigeria Senate through its Committee on Niger Delta had perfected arrangements to begin a comprehensive investigation into the effects of the various toxic wastes allegedly dumped in some communities by the multinational oil firms operating there, over the years.
Specifically, the Chairman of the committee, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, who stated this in an interview with news correspondent, said the upper chamber had concluded plans to begin its probe with the allegations that some people in the affected areas were already dying of cancer induced by the toxic waste in the Niger Delta area.
He lamented that a particular community in Delta State had been pursuing a case involving the dumping of toxic waste in the area since 2003 with the report of the investigation conducted yet to be treated by relevant government agencies.
The senator therefore said his committee, as part of its oversight functions, had concluded plans to summon all the affected oil companies responsible for the agonies being suffered by the people of the Niger Delta as a result of the toxic waste dumped in their communities.
He said, “There is a report of toxic waste effect in Delta North Senatorial District, which the people had been pursuing since 2003. It got to the House of Representatives but was handled somehow and they left it there.
“Frustrated, the people took their case to some Federal Government agencies which took samples but up till today, they have not brought the report.
“Two people from that area had been diagnosed of cancer already. Nobody is saying anything about it.
“We will get the affected oil companies responsible for all these to come and explain their roles, NNPC has to tell us all the major operators in that area, they will give us the names and we will compare it with what we have.
“We need to know what they have done for the affected community.”
Nwaoboshi also said his committee would be interested in knowing what the NNPC was doing about the oil pipeline protection contracts.
“We want to know the details of its (NNPC) pipeline protection projects and reasons why it was using foreigners to protect them instead of employing people from the local communities who could do it better with zeal, commitment and patriotism.”
He also said his committee would carry out a holistic oversight on all Niger Delta Development Commission projects awarded so far in order to check wastage and ensure that the essence of establishing the agency was not jeopardised on the altar of greed.
He said, “We want to know the contractors who were responsible for the abandoned projects because obviously, they are greedy. They don’t want to do the job but rather, would prefer, in connivance with certain people in the office, sell the contracts to other incompetent contractors.
“I can stay on my table and monitor projects in the Niger Delta region. All I need to do is to call an All Progressives Congress member and a Peoples Democratic Party member or any of my colleagues in the House of Assembly to find out the status of the project.
“We will have a different approach. There are many things that have gone wrong in the region, many things have been destroyed there. There are many issues that have been swept aside and others not effectively handled.
“This committee is going to handle them. The Niger Delta people will feel the impact of this committee. Most of the roads to major oil installations are in deplorable conditions. What are the corporate social responsibilities of the operators to their host communities? All these, we would address.”