Fashola to NNPC: Adopt highest standards
The governor, who spoke with newsmen after inspecting the site, added that the corporation should mark out its Right of Way and spend some of the money that is reportedly in billions of dollars and in its control to develop the assets with which it does business
The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), on Thursday inspected the site of the ruptured Pipeline and Petroleum Marketing Company pipeline at Ijegun Imoren in the Ojo Local Government Area of the state, calling on the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation to raise its game and adopt the highest standards expected of national oil corporations of its type.
The governor, who spoke with newsmen after inspecting the site, added that the corporation should mark out its Right of Way and spend some of the money that is reportedly in billions of dollars and in its control to develop the assets with which it does business.
Fashola noted that the corporation has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, but can indeed get back in the news for all the right reasons by showing that its heart is in the communities where it does business.
He said: “We are standing on a pipeline.
“Where is the warning signals that this is a pipeline?
“Now, that does not also justify people building so close to a pipeline.
“This is one pipe leakage too many for Lagos.
“There are long distance consequences for this kind of thing.”
The governor said he has spoken to some of the members of the Imoren community after being briefed by a staff of the NNPC/PPMC and that they have explained to him about the safety measures and clean up measures that are being applied, adding that the state’s Ministry of Energy will also work with them to see what results this would bring.
Fashola said he listened to some of the citizens, who expressed the view that the situation with the spillage in the area was a little better than when the incident first happened and expressed the hope that the clean up would work.
According to Fashola, however, beyond the clean up, there was the issue of compensation to deal with.
He said: “What I have said to the officials of the NNPC is that beyond cleaning up, what about compensation for the damage to the ecological life, fish, marine life and so on.
“People have lost their livelihood.
“This is the end of a riverine community, who depend on this waterways for their daily livelihood for fish, for crab and all sorts of things and we need to apply again best practices and global standards.”
He emphasized that this time, the state will not accept anything less than international standards for the Imoren community in terms of mediation, clean up, restoration and compensation.
Governor Fashola said the state government will walk every distance with the community to ensure that the compensation that is available at the international level applies in this situation too, adding that if oil is sold at a global standard and price, there cannot be different standards for clean-ups when there are environmental damages or disaster.
He was of the opinion that nothing is wrong with the country but that it is the people who must reassess themselves and make choices and be ready to live with the choices that they have made.
He added: “We must remember that actions have consequences.
“We have just seen tank farms built right into residential houses without any regard for safety.
“State agencies seeking to control urban development, Federal Government agencies doing as they wish and until we have the necessary collaborations, we will continue to have this kind of disjointed results.”
Fashola, who also spoke on his daylong engagements, added that the work continues with the provision of more schools, more jetties, more progress and more development for the good of the citizens of the state.
The governor was accompanied by members of the State Executive Council, members of the House of Assembly representing the area and council chairmen from the area.