Lawmakers and Members of the House of Representatives have recently decried the loss of 3500MW of electricity generation and about $400 million carbon credit due to unabated gas flaring in Nigeria.The lawmakers expressed the concern during the debate on the motion sponsored by Kingsley Chinda, who called for an investigation into the violation of the Associated Gas Re-injection Act and loss of revenue due to gas flaring.
As reported by the business day newspaper, Chinda who solicited for the intervention of the House, decried the unending flaring of gas in Nigeria by multinational oil companies in violation of section 3(1) of the Associated Gas Re-injection Act, Cap A25, LFN, 2004 which states that no company engaged in the production of oil and gas shall, after 1 January 1984 flare gas produced in association with or without the permission in writing of the Minister.
“The report in 2011 by Friends of Earth, Nigeria (FOEN) that there are about 100 continuously burning gas flares in the Niger Delta and just offshore, some of which have been burning since early 1960s.”
According to him, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in its report noted that about 296 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas was flared between January – December 2014 in violation of section 9(1) and section 6(iii) of the Petroleum Act which seeks to prevent the pollution if water courses and the atmosphere.
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“The House is aware of section 20 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 which enjoins the state to protect and improve the environment and safeguard the water, air and land, forest and wildlife of Nigeria.
“The House is also aware that section 4(1) of the Associated Gas Re-injection Act provides that where any person flares gas or commits an offence under section 3, the person concerned shall forfeit the concessions granted to him in the particular field or fields in relation to which the offence was committed.
“The House is concerned about the huge revenues the nation is losing to unending gas flaring as observed by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) that the nation lost over $850 million to gas flaring in 2015 which in turn led to loss of about 3,500 megawatts of electricity generation and about $400 million in carbon credit value omission,” he noted.
The House has now urged Federal Government to key into the United Nations ‘Zero Routine Flaring by 2030’ initiative and engage oil exploration companies, the people of Niger Delta area and other stakeholders on the plan of action to end gas flaring in order to stop huge revenue losses and the despoliation of the Niger Delta environment.
Finally, our lawmakers are making efforts to actually enact policies.