An Indian drilling company, Reddis drilling rig was impounded on Monday with three of the staffs who were arrested for indiscriminately drilling at Sabo area of Ibadan, Oyo State Capital.
According to reports, the Environmental Task force is presently handling the matter and the company may be charged to court on Tuesday for non payment of permit and indiscriminate drilling by road side.
According to the reaction by Isaac Brown, a radio presenter with Fresh FM on the accusation on his morning program, the traffic through Sabo was disrupted by the drilling rig on Monday morning, therefore making the public to call Fresh FM to lodge complain.
Isaac Brown reportedly placed a call to the Honourable Commissioner for environment and water resources reporting the development while they queried if there’s no more law guiding drilling and why someone could block the road on Monday morning.
Quipped by the radio broadcast, the new Commissioner for Environment, Idowu Oyeleke went to the site where drilling took place.
Fortunately, the commissioner met the operators and requested for their license to drill and while the client was asked to produce the permit to sink the borehole and couldn’t provide it, the police was immediately invited to take care of the trio for not able to provide answers to the Commissioner’s request while their drilling machine was asked to be impounded in the State Secretariat.
The commissioner however revealed in telephone conversation that a court case is ongoing in respect of the regulations and revenue collection when Isaac Brown placed last question to him on air.
In his reaction to the development, the national president of the Association of Water Well Drilling Rig Owners & Practitioners (AWDROP) Mr. Michael Ale expressed his disappointment at the rate unprofessional drillers are engaging in indiscriminate drilling causing environmental degradation.
Ale maintained that the commissioner’s response shows the government have shown concern to outcry in performing their constitutional functions which is not the order in developing countries.
“Local Businesses in Nigeria cannot grow or thrive without proper regulations. Banks cannot support in an unregulated businesses.
“The Environment is affected and the operators who clamour for not being regulated risk not growing.
“Regulation is to protect the poor and the customer for standard operative procedure and sustainability of their borehole and provide value for money.
“Nigerians should realize that what is not regulated cannot be termed standard hence they cannot complain about shoddy jobs.
“Sub national Government’s should please pass their respective laws to regulate Waterwell drilling and execute such laws to help local operators and enforce standard. It should not be on collection of money’s alone but technical regulation.
“How can one drill on the public road?
One day, a drilling machine will block the entrance of the Oyo State government secretariat office and prevent government official in performing their constituted assignment. The company should and must face the wrath of the law if there is any law guiding against this unwholesome practice.
“NESRA and Ministry of Water Resources and Ministry of Environment including AWDROP should be charged in the suit.
“It should serve as deterrent to others with flagrant behavior. A sacred cow shows that a new sheriff is in town, A trying assignment for the new Commissioner of Environment in Oyo State and being a Barrister, I am sure he knows how to tight his knot. We are watching”, Ale submitted.
Watch video of arrest below…