An Ad-hoc Committee of the House of Representatives yesterday walked out the Chief Executives Officers of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company NAOC and the Panocean Oil Company Limited respectively for failing to honor their invitation to an investigative hearing by the Committee.
The House Ad-hoc Committee set up by the House at plenary this year is investigating the non-inclusion of waste management/disposal and other infringements by indigenous and multinationals oil companies within the Niger Delta region and other places where they operate.
The Committee was also mandated to investigate the hazardous activities of the oil companies which posed threats to human existence in the region.
The probe panel which began sitting on Wednesday had previously met with the officials of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG and scheduled to meet with other relevant stakeholders in the oil sector.
At the resumed session of the panel on Thursday, the panel had expected to receive presentations from NAOC, Panocean, Oriental Energy, New Cross Petroleum and Brittania-U Nigerian limited on their waste management and disposal schemes.
But to the chagrin of the Committee members, the Managing Directors of NAOC and Panocean earlier summoned failed to appear before them were represented without formal communication as to why they were absent.
Although NAOC sent representatives, the lawmakers felt slighted that there was no official letter showing they were representing the company.
Agregating the views of his colleagues on the issue, the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee, Hon. Agom Jarigbe Agom (PDP, Cross-River) asked through a voice vote if committee members were satisfied with the representatives of the companies to speak or reinvite the managing directors.
The committee members declined the representation of the to the companies at the hearing
Hitting the gavel, Agom said: “The decision is that NAOC should excuse us and we will write to your MD to reach us and we get a date for him, for AGIP to appear before this Committee. We can excuse NAOC for now and we will communicate with the MD of NAOC because, as far as we are concerned, we don’t know the people before us.
“And Panocean, there is no letter from the MD. Sorry, we can’t take you. We will fix another date and give you a chance to appear before this Committee.”
In his own presentation, the General Manager, Environmental Health Safety Security of Oriental Energy Resources, Mr. Dammy Jones, told the investigative committee that that his company had only one oil bloc it was operating on.
He said that the company had a proper waste management and disposal scheme which was environmentally friendly.
“Oriental Energy operates only one field as we speak, that is the Ebok field that came into production operation in 2011. We do have a block and another field called Okwok. Okwok, we have not started production, we are still at the development stage, we don’t have any production from Okwok.
“OML 115 is the only bloc Oriental has. Currently, there is nothing on OML 115 as we speak. Technically speaking, we only have Ebok field and Ebok is a marginal field. We started operation there in 2011likeni said, and we’ve been producing as a marginal field
“The Ebok solid waste stamp in and sank. And again that’s the error we saw and I think because of the volume of document we are loading up in our system at that time. Like I said in my opening remark, we have document that are auditable from the point of generation of the waste, transporting the waste, treatment of the waste, we so have wast certificate and we retire that to DPR.
“At every point in waste management, we have waste manifest that are assigned by appropriate authority as they go down in chain and this audited are auditable and those are the ones we will be presenting today”, he said.
Apparently not satisfied with the oral defence, the chairman ruled that the company should supply the committee with all relevant documents within 48 hours to enhance the investigation.