The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), has disagreed with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Odein Ajumogobiaâ€™s recent statementÂ that any attempt to enforce an immediate gas flares-out, would affect revenue accruing to the government.
NACCIMA President, Dr. Simon Okolo, who reacted after a meeting with NACCIMA ExecutivesÂ in Lagos, said that government must take firm decision to gas flaring because of the danger it poses to the economy particularly the agricultural sector.
He argued that this has becomes necessary as gas flaring has been adversely affecting the agricultural production through acid rains.
â€œThe damaging effects of gas flaring on cropÂ yield and vegetation through acid rain , includes increased riskÂ of respiratory illness asthma, cancer, bronchitis, blindness, decreased lung function, impotency, miscarriages and premature deaths etc,â€ he said.
The Association, he said, is quite aware that Nigeria is a signatory to the Kyoto protocol, which stipulated binding limitations on emission of gases, and as a participant inÂ theÂ Copenhagen summit, the federal government must convince Nigerians and the international community that it is really seriousÂ at ending gas flares in the country estimatedÂ to account for 12.5 percent of the worldâ€™s gas flaring.
According to him, merely fixing dates to stop gas flaring will never work out if government does not make fresh investments in gas gathering plants as made out by the oil companies.