WASTE CONTROVERSY: CONTRACTOR APOLOGIZES TO KADUNA REFINERY
By Luka Binniyat
KADUNA - The contractor engaged to dispose of the waste from the Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company, (KRPC, has apologised for dumping some of the waste at an undesignated site.
The incident caused an uproar in the community, with allegations that the waste was toxic, and led to the death of some children and animals.
The waste, which was dumped on a farm in Rido village just behind the Refinery last month, caused a division in the community between those who said it was harmful and those who thought otherwise.
While the controversies raged, the Kaduna State Environmental Protection Authority, (KEPA, in its recent report declared that the waste was not toxic or dangerous to public health and the environment.
The apology by the Contractor, Chimbache Invest (Nig) Ltd, which was signed by its Managing Director, Chidi Onwuegbuche, followed a query issued it by the Executive Director, Operations of the KRPC, on June 22, 2012 in a letter with the reference KRPC/HSED/100.
Part of the query read: 'KRPC management has observed with great displeasure the embarrassment caused her following your refusal to adhere to the terms of contracts entered into with you. Your actions have created some reputational damages to the organization following widespread reports of purported negligence on our part both in the print and electronic media.
'You would recall that the scope of work clearly specified that all waste removed from the scrap yard were to be dumped at KEPA approved dump site. This you have breached.'
The KRPC management then demanded the contractor to remove the waste, and tender an unreserved apology to it. It also added, 'you are also to note that whatever liability is incurred in the cause of this development will be entirely borne by you.'
In response, the contractor wrote the Managing Director of KRPC, and copied the Manager, Health, Safety and Environment on 5th July, saying, 'We view the incident that occurred as an obvious omission on our part. It was not a deliberate act to create an unpleasant situation that would portray KRPC in bad light knowing full well that KRPC is a responsible corporate organization.
'As you are aware, we have executed several jobs in your company in line with the terms and conditions of terms stipulated in the contract agreements and brief often before the commencement of any job. All these we have satisfactorily adhered to.
'What transpired in the course of executing the clean -up site is highly regretted. We owe KRPC our sincere apologies for having dump waste on an undesignated place. It was never our intention to create such an awkward and uncomfortable situation. We understand and acknowledge the mistake and resolving the matter.
Preventing similar issues
'While we cause this unpleasant experience, we are able to see where we went wrong. We believe acquiring this insight will allow us learn, grow and prevent similar issues in future'
Meanwhile, KEPA in its Laboratory Result Sheet, with the reference EP/141/vol.iii/412 dated 10th July, 2012, said it took some sample of the waste at Rido village on the 19th of June and took two weeks to analyse it.
After tabulating the analysis under, Parameters, Sample and Standard, it summarised that.
'The confirmatory test shows that result obtained within acceptable limits, therefore the refuse dumped is not harmful to environment and public health'. The report was signed by its Director of Laboratory Services, Lawal M Usman.