The government has been called upon to expedite action to stamp out gas flaring in the Niger Delta Region as this will mitigate its health-related effects on the hostcommunities, and create jobs for the youths which will eradicatehostilities in the region caused mainly by lack of employment opportunities.

This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the 8th Annual Conference of Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ) with the theme “Sustainable Security and Environment in the Niger Delta: A Key to Nigeria Development” held at University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State.

The two days conference featured academic scholars, guest speakers from non-governmental organisations and civil society organisations who deliberated on various security and environmental challenges in the region and country at large.

It will be recalled that government efforts towards gas flaring in Nigeria started in 1969 during the regime of General Yakubu Gowon, but till date, the goal post has been being shifted several times by different administrations without punishing oil companies for disobeying existinganti-gas flaring laws.

It was resolved that government should act more rather than speak words towards ending gas flaring in Nigeria.

NGOs and other concerned groups were urged to jointly sign a well-articulated protest document to the Federal Government to stop gas flaring in the country once and for all.

Also at the conference, it was agreed that massive awareness campaign should be mounted in this regard, while electricity should be providedin the communities where these oilcompanies operate. This is becauseof the belief by the community people it is a privilege to reside close to a gas flare site to solve the lack of electricity supply.

However, knowledge about the negative effects of inhaling gas flared in their environment.

It was noted that harnessing the gas being flared in Nigeria would lift the nation’s economy beyond what its current level is now with crude oil.

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