An international Non-Governmental Organisation, the Coalition for Socio-ecological Transformation (COSET) has urged the federal government not to shift its commitment to end the gas flaring scourge in 2020.
The group said it consider the ugly incident illegal and harmful practice with far reaching negative impacts on people and the environment, calling on the government to come out with a definite date to end it.
Renowned environmentalist, Dr. Nimmo Bassey, who spoke on behalf of the group, during a visit to the Minister of State Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, said government must act as a driving force in ending gas flaring without abdicating the responsibility to the Petroleum Ministry.
He explained that gas flaring is a key source of greenhouse emissions, contributing significantly to global warming and climate change, with Nigeria reeling under disastrous impacts and communities suffering untold hardship.
“With an estimated $2.5 billion worth of gas wasted annually as routinely flared gas, this practice is also clearly economically wasteful. It also reduces life expectancy of the people.” He said.
He emphasised that the goal of its campaign is to place the deadline date on the agenda of government and support the legal policy mechanisms that will enable its realisation.
He further stressed the visit was to encourage the Ministry to reproduce the kind of assertiveness that characterised its work during the Ogoni clean up, especially the flag-off days.
Responding, the Minister of State, Ikeazor said government would soon put an end to illegal refineries in Niger Delta, adding that “Man has continued to mess up the ecosystem, this brings about corona virus globally.”
She also promised to take the group’s request to the appropriate authorities, while the ministry will carry out health audit on the impact of gas flaring in affected communities.