Disturbed by mysterious deaths of fishes and 13 Nigerians on Bonny Island in Rivers State, the House of Representatives on Thursday moved that the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) to immediately brief the Joint Committee of the House currently investigating the Dead fishes in Bonny and other Niger Delta coastal communities on their findings in Bonny for necessary intervention of other relevant government agencies and further legislative action.
The House also urged NEMA to provide necessary relief materials to the people of Bonny Island as an interim relief.
The lawmakers also made a clarion call on the Federal Government to establish a Federal Medical Center in Bonny to carter for the medical needs of the multinational oli and gas workers and indigenes of the area.
The motion which was promoted by 13 lawmakers, Reps Dagogo Doctor Farah, Awaji-Inombek D. Abiante, Chinda Kingsley Ogundu, Chikere Kenneth Anayo, Gogo Bright Tamuno, Igwe Chinyere Emmanuel, Dekor Dumnamena Robinson, Nnam-Obi Prince Uchechuku, Goodhead Boma and others was raised under ‘Matters of National Importance.
Moving the motion on behalf of others, Rep Awaji-Inombek Abiante recalled that”in the last week of March 2020, there was incidence of large quantities of dead fishes around the Bonny-Andoni shores and indeed several other communities in the Niger Delta region stretching up to Ondo and Akwa Ibom states, which has been brought before the House for urgent attention.
He said “in less than 6 weeks later, mysterious deaths is occurring in Bonny Island in Rivers State and is reported to have claimed about 13 (Thirteen) lives in a few days.
Abiante noted that officials of the Rivers State Ministry of Health and Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) have collected samples in Bonny Island, Rivers State for testing to determine what is responsible for the strange occurrence which some deiined the symptoms to include loss of the sense of smell, taste, fever, weakness, vomiting and stooling.
“These symptoms exhibited by victims are not exactly same as those of COVID-19. as it neither presents cough or respiratory issues.
” Bonny is home to Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited and various multinational oil companies including Royal Dutch Shell, Mobil, Chevron, Agip and Elf.
” Bonny Island is a major export point for oil and it has the biggest LNG Gas Plant in Nigeria with six (6) trains, which is the main stay of the Nigerian economy.
“Despite Bonny’s significant contribution to the national economy, the Island can only be accessed via boats and ferries; and without a link road connecting it to other parts of the Rivers State and Nigeria and lacks adequate medical facility.
“Worried, that due to the challenge of transportation and communication, it is usually difficult to get help or even access medical facilities in Port-Harcourt or other part of the Country.
He explained that “if the health issue is not contained it could affect the residents and workforce of the NLNG as well as the economy of the country and could also spread from there to other parts of the Country especially in this era of this global pandemic.
The House put the motion to a voice vote and the ays carried the day.
i. Urge the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) to immediately brief the Joint Committee of the House currently investigating the Dead fishes in Bonny and other Niger Delta coastal communities on their findings in Bonny for necessary intervention of other relevant government agencies and further legislative action.
ii. Urge the NEMA to provide necessary relief materials to the people of Bonny Island as an interim relief.
iii. Call on the Federal Government to establish a Federal Medical Center in Bonny to carter for the medical needs of the multinational oli and gas workers and indigenes of the area.
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