NOSDRA BOSS FLAYS OIL FIRMS OVER SPILLAGE
By Hugo Idiogor
Director-General of National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, Mr. Peter Idabor, has identified overlapping activities of other government agencies in monitoring and managing operations of oil companies as a major draw back in compelling strict adherence to the zero oil spill policy of NOSDRA.
Idabor, who disclosed this in an interview with Vanguard in Lagos, said the multinational oil companies in Nigeria were exploiting this identified flaws to their advantage in dealing with oil spill detection, management and remediation of the impacted areas in their operational locations.
He flayed Agip Oil company for neglecting cases of spills reported in two of the operational locations in Rivers State, which led to the shutting down of their facility by the agency last week, adding that there was an urgent need for government to streamline the functions of the various agencies to give NOSDRA the required bite to police local and international oil companies.
He said the companies were recalcitrant in complying with environmental best practices and refuse to halt the massive degradation of the ecology of the oil bearing region in the country.
Idabor was in Lagos for the biennial conference of International Maritime Organisation, IMO, and International Petroleum Industry Environmental Association, IPIECA, Global Initiative for West and Central Africa, GI-WACA, a gathering of 22 countries connected by maritime route of oil shipment.
The conference aims to encourage and facilitate improvement in global oil spill preparedness, response and management strategies.
He said although the conference brings together oil industry operators to enhance their response, preparedness and observance of best practices, experience had shown that the oil companies operating in Nigeria were reluctant to partner with NOSDRA to actualise its mandate, which was to promote zero tolerance in oil spill and quick remediation in the impacted areas.
Idabor said Federal Government needed to stream line the activities of the various agencies to promote effectiveness and efficiency in the sector.