The House of Representatives on Wednesday mandated its Committee on Environment to interface with relevant Federal Government agencies and parastatals, to avert “impending earthquake in Nigeria.”
The lawmakers also requested that the concerned agencies monitor and ascertain the extent to which mining activities, rock blasting and borehole drilling in Nigeria comply with global best practices.
The call followed a motion brought under matters of urgent public importance by Johnson Oghuma (APC, Edo) on the “urgent need to forestall impending earthquakes in Nigeria.”
Oghuma, in a lead debate on the motion, recalled the recent cases of earth tremors at Mpape and Maitama areas of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, which he said had raised fears of imminent earthquake in Nigeria.
“Be aware that reports by the Federal Capital Territory Management Agency (FEMA) indicate that the incidence was likely caused by stress in underground rocks, which resulted from human activities such as mining and blasting of rocks.
“These human activities have been identified by experts as latent causes of seismic movement and earth tremor, which occurs at a small scale but can lead to earthquakes if preventive measures are not taken to reduce the stress,” Oghuma warned.
The lawmaker further recalled earlier alarm by the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) that communities in four states and Abuja may likely witness earthquakes if necessary monitoring checks were not taken.
He noted with concern how the same lackadaisical attitude to early warning mechanisms against flooding led to loss of lives and property worth millions of naira.
In their separate contributions, Johnson Agbonayinma (APC, Edo) and Abiante Awaji-Inonbek (PDP, Bayelsa) said the incidence of earth tremor in Abuja shows the devastating consequences of indiscriminate mining activities across the country.
The motion was unanimously voted and adopted with a call on Federal Government’s agencies to deploy proactive measures to prevent Nigerians from “impending catastrophe.”