Illegal refineries: Introduce pollution tax, Senate tells Buhari

Written by on March 3, 2022


The Senate, on Wednesday, urged the Federal Government to introduce pollution tax on those involved in economic sabotage by engaging in illegal refining of crude products in oil-producing areas of the country.

The chamber also called on the federal government to sanction security agencies culpable of sabotaging the nation’s interest by vandalising pipeline installations and facilities.

These were part of resolutions reached by the Senate on a motion titled, “curbing soot’s particulate droppings, health hazards concerns and economic sabotage by illegal refining of crude products in Rivers State.”

The motion was sponsored by Senator George Thompson Sekibo (Rivers East), and co-sponsored by seven other lawmakers.

Sekibo, in his presentation, noted that droppings of unidentifiable sooty particulates in Rivers State, suspected to be after-effects of incomplete crude refining process have taken a more dangerous dimension.

According to the lawmaker, an environmental audit due to the degradation of the environment has never been carried out since the commencement of the exploration and exploitation activities in the area which lasted for over 60 years.

He lamented that the attendant effect has left the contaminated environment “without hope of remediation.”

Accordingly, the senate in a six-point resolution, urged the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) to note that there is an impending environmental danger that is occurring in Rivers state and its environs orchestrated by miscreants who are engaged in illegal refining as well as looting national crude oil assets.

It urged the president to audit security agencies saddled with the responsibility of securing these assets but are involved in this national sabotage and for them to be sanctioned appropriately by the laws of the country.

The chamber further urged the president to use his constitutional power to support the Government of Rivers State in combating these criminal activities and fishing out national economic saboteurs.

and to institute pollution tax that can be scientifically measured and the proceeds therefrom to part-finance the cleaning of the environment and provide medical care to the affected communities.

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