Ending gas flaring will restore health, economic rights of citizens ― HOSTCOM

Continued gas exploitation with its associate gas flaring undermines the rights of citizens of his communities to healthy living, as the technology hurts the economic, environmental and health rights of the host communities.

Therefore, the Host Communities Producing Oil and Gas has urged the Federal government and its regulatory agency to ensure that early date to end gas flaring is set and complied with as against the continued shifting of this date, thereby increasing the damage gas flaring causes the host communities.

National President of HOSTCOM, High Chief (Dr) Benjamin Style Tamanarebi, who made this call in a statement made available to Tribune Online on Sunday said, the damage to the ecosystem and lives of residents of these communities from the impact of gas flaring are life-long health challenges, that could be avoided through early compliance with end to gas flaring.

He said this against the background of what he described as more worrisome inconsistency in the dates to end gas flaring, which has just been shifted to 2025.

Tamanarebi said the consequence of gas flaring are numerous as they are life-threatening but maintained that ending it will restore the health, economic, and environmental rights of the poor community residents

According to him, its impact cuts across climate change, agriculture, cultural heritage, livelihood and worse of all health complications, especially for oil and gas producing states.

He said there is no better opportunity to address this matter thank now when there is a national consensus for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

So also should the gas flaring issue which is related in terms of damages to both human, environmental and economic right of the citizens should be addressed at the same time with the earlier date of ending gas flaring.

He said the continued flaring of gas in its exploitation was “despicable and unacceptable in the way and manner Host Communities are given little on no regard in the petroleum investment without recourse to their livelihood and Sustainable Development.

“This he said is expedient in the light of Ending Gas flaring, Environmental degradation, Climate Change, Gas Recovery & Utilization, Gas Resources, Regulatory Compliance and the Host Communities Producing Oil and Gas Sustainable Development and Development Sustainability.

HOSTCOM recommended: “That a Special Technical regulatory compliance monitoring unit be
set-up and shall be made-up of the Representatives of the Ministry of Petroleum, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Federal Ministry of Environment, NOSDRA, Representative of the House Committee on Environment/Habitat and the Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas.”

The Special Technical team would be guided by the terms of reference to include, That the local regulatory laws and policies be reviewed in line with the UNFCCC CDM criteria and other international laws and
regulations to enhance the sustainable development of HostCom.

“That the penalty funds be remitted to the Host Communities and gas utilization nodes be provided for the Host Communities Producing Oil and Gas to enhance their livelihood and social advancement.

He also pointed out that a cryogenic plant model be installed on all the fields to end gas flare and recover/optimize flared and natural gas.

However, he expressed satisfaction with the acknowledgement of the Ad -hoc Committee Chairman, Rt. Hon. Nicholas Mutu, the Minister of State Petroleum, Minister of Environment, NNPC GMD, Director DPR on the Operating Companies remarks on the consequential effect and impacts of gas flaring on the environment, ecosystem, climate change, agriculture, cultural heritage, livelihood and health of the Oil and Gas producing States and Communities.

According to him, it is expedient and instructive that a field to field basis gas recovery plant model such as the cryogenic plant be installed and nodes for the creation of gas hub centers be established in the Producing States and Communities.

“Establishment of the Gas trains should not be in Bonny alone, but be established in other major producing Oil and Gas States.”

He pointed out that the upcoming trains 1-7 is concentrated in Bonny alone; whereas the gas is gathered from various major Producing Oil and Gas States.

He recommended that the bonny delivery point and nodes be modified to create a gas hub center to the Producing States and Communities.

He also maintained that HOSTCOM position on 10% equity shareholding is not negotiable and demanded that the Gas Master Plan be reviewed to accommodate Gas hub centers to stimulate industrialization of the Producing States and Communities.

“Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas be included in the regulatory Boards, Commissions, Authorities and Agencies to ensure effective implementation of the laws and policies.

“As direct recipients of Gas Flare negative effect, HostCom deserve to be a beneficiary in the investment of domestic gas utilization obligation therefore, recommend that the principle of the Rights to First Refusal be applied to Gas allocation and be made available to HostCom as part of their Sustainable Development.”

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