Earth tremors: Reps urges FG to regulate borehole drilling

OrderPaperToday- The House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to improve levels of compliance in blasting, mining and borehole drilling activities which have been linked to recent earth tremors and earthquakes in the country. 

The decision follows a motion of urgent public importance raised by Johnson Oghuma (APC, Edo), entitled: Urgent Need to Forestall Impending Earthquakes in Nigeria.

Leading the debate on the motion, Oghuma pointed to the tremors experienced in September and October, 2018, around the Mpape and Maitama axes of the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja.

He said: “The reports by the Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) indicate that the incidence was likely caused by the stress in the underground rocks, resulting from human activities, which include blasting and mining of rocks.

“Further aware that the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASDA) had reported that communities in four states and Abuja may likely witness earthquakes if necessary preventive and monitoring devices are not employed immediately.

Speaking on the motion, Randolph Brown (PDP, Rivers) said that the tremors recorded in September and October had nothing to do with borehole. Instead, they were the result of environmental neglect over a long period of time.

“Thank God it is happening in Abuja, not Warri or all those other places, this tremor shows that something is wrong with the environment, we have erosion everywhere. This is not about mining, mining has been going on for a very long time. We need a holistic approach, if people don’t drink from borehole, what would they drink? When we have not been able to provide water. This new awareness should not be restricted to Abuja alone,” he noted.

The House then mandated the Committee on Environment to interface with relevant departments and agencies to ensure compliance and report back to the House within 6 weeks.

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