By Henry Umoru & Joseph Erunke
ABUJA—WORRIED over the recent droppings of unidentifiable sooty particulates in Rivers State, the Senate, yesterday, summoned the Minister of Environment and the Director-General of National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, to appear and brief the upper chambers after a preliminary assessment of the area has been carried out within two weeks.
The Senate has also directed its Committees on Environment, Petroleum Upstream and Petroleum Downstream to visit Port Harcourt, Rivers State, and carry out what it termed observatory assessment of the level of the sooty particles dropping in Rivers State and its environs and report back within three weeks.
The upper chamber, also wants acting President Yemi Osinbajo to note that there was an impending environmental danger in Rivers State and its environs due to the unidentifiable sooty particulates dropping in the state.
It also asked the Federal Ministry of Environment and its agency, NOSDRA, to immediately carry out a holistic investigation into the sooty particulates that are dropping in the state and its environs and take steps to eliminate their occurrence.
The resolutions of the Senate were sequel to a motion by Senator George Sekibo (PDP, Rivers East) and entitled, “Unidentifiable Sooty Particulate dropping in Rivers State and its Environs.”
The motion was co- sponsored by deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, Senate Chief Whip, Olusola Adeyeye, his deputy, Francis Alimikhena; Minority leader, Godswill Akpabio and 25others.
In his presentation, Senator Sekibo said that “The Senate notes that there is in recent times, droppings of unidentifiable sooty particulates in Rivers State, which is suspected to be after-effects of oil and gas exploration and exploitation activities in the state.”