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Investigation into Agip pipeline explosion underway, says Bayelsa govt

Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State

The Bayelsa State Government has said that investigations into the July 9, 2015 Pipeline Explosion that killed 14 people at Agip’s oil field was underway.
It would be recalled that a regulatory official of Bayelsa Ministry of Environment and National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and 12 maintenance crew members were amongst the victims that died in the blast.
Bayelsa State Commissioner for Environment, Mr Iniruo Will said, Monday that the state government was irrevocably committed to an exhaustive investigation to the incident.
He said that the Bayelsa Ministry of Environment, Oil Industry regulators and the Police was working closely to unravel the cause of the explosion.
He said that the report of the investigation will be made public and will provide a basis for actions to forestall reoccurrence.
Wills said: “The Governor had made clear commitments to ensure that there is full accountability in this matter and there will be comprehensive investigations, and there is no reason to think that the state government nor indeed the governor will back down on that.
“Investigations are going on; there are further measures and processes that will still come up, it is not going to be an overnight thing, investigations are already going on.
“But the scale and manner in which this disaster happened is such that it throws up a number of dimensions and a number of possibilities as to not just investigations but sanctions and so on can be explored.
“So while investigations are going on, there are still other measures that government has been considering.
“Do not be surprised that by tomorrow or next week we call you and announce that there is a new step or measure or sanction or whatever measure else it is that is undertaken to ensure that there is full accountability.
“But one thing I can assure you is that this is not a matter that that can go away just like that, the state government is fully and the governor himself is fully committed to ensuring that the right thing is done.
“And we will expect that all parties, all stakeholders all concerned would also play their part.”

Wills said that the explosion had elicited the concern of federal government including several interest groups including local and foreign civil society groups and rights groups and hence could not be swept under the carpet.
The commissioner explained that Bayelsa Government has unveiled a policy christened “LIVES BEFORE OIL’ to ensure safety of human lives in oil field operations within the state as one of its immediate response.

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