By Emman Ovuakporie
ABUJA — THE House of Representatives Committee on Gas (sub-committee on Environment) yesterday asked officials of Chevron Nigeria Limited and representatives of communities ravaged by series of oil spills in Warri, Delta State to reach an amicable settlement within the next 10 days.
Chairman of the committee, Hon. Alfonsus Gerrald, in a reaction to Chevron’s outright rejection of report presented by the representative of National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, Olubunmi Akindele which stated that the independent damage valuation done by Chevron and which put the cost of compensation at N30 million was inaccurate and cannot be used for any credible effort at solving the problems generated by the oil spill which affected many communities.
Gerrald (PDP, Imo), who is also the deputy chairman, House Committee on Gas said: “In as much as Chevron is not at liberty to reject whatever NOSDRA recommends based on assessment of damages to ecology of communities which is in line with the act establishing it by which a culprit must abide, the claim agents who are the representatives of impacted communities should also not make their claims binding as the basis upon which the committee must reach its conclusion.
“What all the parties have submitted to us are working tools that guide our deliberation and subsequent decisions which should be acceptable to all”, he said.
He averred that: “section 88 and 89 of the constitution empowers the House to carry out investigations through its Committees – be they standing or Ad-hoc.”