Health of the Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), has said it would amount to a big insult to the people of Niger Delta region if the international oil companies (IOCs) divest without restoring the destroyed Niger Delta environment.
HOMEF executive director, Rev. Nnimmo Bassey, disclosed this yesterday while speaking at a community training on the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and Divestment hosted by the organisation and We The People (WTP) at the Ken Saro-Wiwa Innovation Hub in Port Harcourt.
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Bassey stated that most of the communities in the Niger Delta region were not aware that the international oil companies were moving away from the region, pointing out that the people only hear about the divestments from the indigenous companies buying them off.
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He therefore appealed to the federal government to ensure that the international oil companies were made to pay for the destruction of the Niger Delta environment before leaving.
The HOMEF boss said, “On the issue of divestment, we believe it is a big insult for oil companies to divest after destroying the Niger Delta environment for over six decades, to think of moving away without discussing with the communities.
“Most communities are not aware of the moves; we are hearing from those who are buying off from them. We believe that they are doing this so as to avoid responsibilities.
“We are calling on government to defend our people and insist that these companies cannot move away without being held accountable for the damage done to the Niger Delta environment and to the health of our people.
“With the things they have done in the past and what they are doing, they can’t just wash their hands off or say they are handing over to local companies who are as bad as them.”