THE House of Representatives on Wednesday resolved to ascertain the level of monitoring and compliance with world global standards in blasting, mining and borehole drilling as result of the re occurrence of earth tremor in the nation’s Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja and its environs.
This followed the adoption of a motion under matters of urgent national importance by moved by Johnson Oghuma titled the “urgent need to forestall impending earthquakes in Nigeria’ at the plenary yesterday.
While moving the motion, Hon Oghuma expressed concern over the recent cases of earth tremor experienced in the months of September and October this year in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) around Mpape and Maitama axis, raising fears of imminent earthquake.
According to the law maker, ” the earth tremor is a form of seismic movement within the earth which occurs at a small scale but can lead to earthquakes if preventive measures are not taken to reduce the stress
“The reports by Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) indicates that the incidence was likely caused by stress in underground rocks resulting from human activities which include blasting and mining of rocks
“The National Space Research and Development Agency had reported that communities in four states of the federation and Abuja may likely witness earthquakes if necessary preventive and monitoring devises are not employed immediately”.
He pointed out that it was necessary preventive measures were taken to stop the catastrophe from happening.
In his contribution, Hon Johnson Agbonayinma said the issue of the tremor was important and should be taken seriously to avert any disaster
According to him, “what is happening these days is wearisome. Nobody knows which neighbourhood will be next. Presently, we have nothing on ground on how to prevent, monitor or manage such occurrence
“In developed countries like America, they plan for the future, they plan ahead for such occurrences but in Nigeria, we don’t plan. Once we fail to plan, we automatically plan to fail
“The issue of boreholes is taking center stage in this matter. The drilling of boreholes must be regulated. I am appealing to the government to rise up to the occasion and begin to do the needful in the national interest “.
Also in his contribution, Hon Abiante Awaji-Inombek said that for tremor to happen in Abuja, it showed that something was happening to the management of the nation’s environment which must be addressed squarely in order to avert national disaster.
According to him, “the suspicion that the tremors might be as a result of mining activities should not be overlooked. There must be a holistic approach to this issue
“We simply have to rise to the challenge before us. We should not restrict our attention to Abuja only, we should look at potential hotspots”.
When the motion was put into voice vote by the Speaker, Hon Yakubu Dogara who presided over the plenary, it unanimously adopted and further mandated the Committee on Environment to report findings within six weeks for further legislative action.
It also mandate its Committee on Environment to interface with relevant departments of the Federal Ministry of Environment, agencies and parastatals to address reasons identified by experts as the latent cause of the seismic movement.