Lagos, Nigeria (CNN)A major new inquiry into oil companies operating in the Niger Delta has been launched by the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu. The probe will investigate "environmental and human damage" in Nigeria's vast oil fields.
Major new inquiry into oil spills in Nigeria's Niger Delta launched
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"This Commission will investigate the human and environmental impact of multinational oil company activity and is crucial to the prosperous future of the people of Bayelsa and their environment, Nigeria and hopefully to other oil-producing nations," he said.
Nigeria is Africa's largest oil producer. The country's crude oil production -- estimated at over 300 million liters per day -- makes up 70 percent of the Nigerian government's revenue.
This new commission, convened by Bayelsa Governor Seriake Dickson, says that it wants to make oil companies in the region more accountable.
"The world has looked on for too long without taking the necessary collective action to put a stop to the damage being done by oil companies in Bayelsa. We must put the environment and the health and wellbeing of our communities first," Dickson said in a statement Wednesday.
Big oil spills are common in the Niger Delta where over 40 million liters of crude oil