This land supposed to have experienced the finest schools, hospitals and gleaming infrastructure with human capital development that would have even make the West to be envious, but reverse is the case of a place where wealth literally oozes out of the marshy ground.
The dream of this land is being shattered apart. That’s to say it has turned into a nightmare.
The discovery of this black gold in the region more than 50 years ago has become disastrous instead of being a blessing for the people that owns this land.
This land offered rich pickings for both farmers and fishermen, then the multi-national oil companies arrived and wrought an environmental catastrophe. Millions of litres of oil are being spilled every year across the Niger Delta region.
The air we breath in, the soil and the water body have all been contaminated, which has caused a devastating effects on the inhabitants of this land. Our health and livelihoods have been jeopardized.
Vast areas of the waterbody and mangrove swamps which happens to be one of the most diverse ecosystem in Africa have being destroyed or put at risk. The Flora and Fauna have also being affected. Most of this Flora and Fauna have gone into extinction.
Farmlands are cloaked in oil, contaminating crops and exposing the people to high levels of heavy metals such as chromium, lead etc.
Since the advent of this black gold, trillions of dollars have being made from oil extraction across the land but the region is still lying comatose in both infrastructure and human capital development.
This oil have been feeding the entire nation but the region that produces this black gold has remained in darkness.
Our Life expectancy has being cut short. All kinds of illness have engulfed our people. According to health and environmental experts, oil pollution is placing our people at heightened risk of kidney damage, diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson and increase in diarrhoea and child malnutrition etc.
But even after oil spill, there is no concerted effort by these multi-national oil companies and the Federal Government to ensure that a proper cleanup is done in those affected areas.
The question is;
Is it a sin that we are blessed with this natural resource that is feeding the entire nation?
On this note, I am calling on Aiteo and other multi-national oil companies operating with the Niger Delta region to clean up all oil spills immediately, and provide swift compensation to all communities that are affected and develop a long-term plans to avoid further spills in the future.
These oil companies should also be forced to invest in sustainable projects such as infrastructure and human capital development in all oil bearing communities in which they are operating.