Tue, 28 Feb 2012 07:01:00 GMT

Nigeria''s president vows to address environmental concerns

From Paul Ohia
Abuja, Feb 27 (PTI) Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan today visited areas where explosions at Chevron gas exploration sites caused severe fire outbreak last month as he assured them of relief to alleviate hardships.

Jonathan told the people of Koluoma community in Bayelsa State and adjoining villages that his government was keen on addressing environmental issues and their attendant ecological impacts.

The President promised the communities that the country�s central relief agency, Nigeria Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), will facilitate the deployment of more relief materials to them.

Jonathan urged American oil giant, Chevron to provide more relief materials and other sundry relief items to the people.

On January 16, explosions from oil rigs owned by Chevron killed two workers and sparking a fire which continues to rage at a natural gas leak.

According to the company, investigation is still going on but authorities in Nigeria believe the fire was caused by a major pressure built up from drilling.

The president comes from Bayelsa state which is among the oil producing areas located within the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

The region has witnessed periods of militancy by youth who said they benefit little from the natural resources but suffer a lot of degradation and pollutions.

Nigeria is Africa�s top oil producer and a member of OPEC.

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