SARAKI DEMANDS REVIEW OF OIL SPILL AGENCY ACT
By Henry Umoru
Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, Senator Bukola Saraki, PDP, Kwara Central has called for a total overhauling of the law setting up the Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) against the backdrop that it has become obsolete.
According to him, it has become imperative for the review of the law because oil communities were being exposed to impunity by some oil prospecting companies.
He however expressed sadness that NOSDRA recently asked the Nigeria Agip Company Limited to pay the paltry sum of one million Naira as fine over its failure to immediately contain, recover and clean up oil spill at its OB/OB Gas plant in Obrikom, Omoku in Rivers state.
In a statement signed by his media office, the former governor of Kwara state stressed that the time has come for all oil companies to pay adequate compensations to communities in respect of oil spillages, just as he said that NOSDRA needed to be reviewed to conform with international standards.
According to the statement, Senator Saraki noted that the inadequacy was in the NOSDRA) Enabling Act (2006) which according to him has become obsolete, adding, 'the Senator representing Kwara Central feels bad and concerned following a newspaper report that NOSDRA a federal agency charged with the responsibility for preparedness, detention and response to oil spillages in Nigeria asked Nigeria Agip company limited to pay the paltry sum of one million Naira as fine over its failure to immediately contain, recover and clean up oil spill at its OB/OB Gas plant in Obrikom, Omoku, Rivers state.
'The Senator lamented that the fine imposed is not deterrent enough for such offence that has the potential to cause degradation of the environment and inflict long lasting damage to the health of the people living in the community.
'He said that his committee in the Senate will review the enabling act establishing the agency to conform and strengthen its ability to deter bad behaviours and protect the environment while living up to world best practises on prevention of oil spillage in the country.
'The distinguished Senator from Kwara said imposing more stiffer penalty on oil spillage will serve as a needed check to curb oil spillage in the country, as the one million Naira fine is not commensurate with and can't curb oil spillage in the country.'