The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, has raised a health concern regarding the soot hovering over Port Harcourt, Rivers state.
Fortune Obi, PENGASSAN’s National Public Relations Officer, in a statement on Sunday said it could lead to citizens developing respiratory problems
The oil union also said urgent attention had not been given to the scourge, saying experts had identified it to be ‘carcinogenic’.
“Majority believe that the source of this soot is due to incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons as well as asphalt processing, burning of barges used for oil bunkering and illegal artisanal refinery operations in some parts of the state.
“There is need for collaboration among all stakeholders to end this environmental hazard.
“We therefore call on the State and the Federal Government to put strategic action in place to finally address this black soot and put an end to whatever is the source.
“This is not the time to play politics with people’s lives.
“The Federal and State Governments, security agencies as well as all agencies in charge of environment and other agencies handling related issues should toe a defined and safe path in handling illegal oil vessels.
“The government should constitute local councils into environmental councils to monitor their areas for any possible illegal refining of crude and such other dangerous acts that are inimical to human existence,” said the PENGASSAN.